Since it began in 1983, Frontline has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.
In the last quarter century, many of the mentally ill in this country were discharged from hospitals with no coherent provision for follow-up care. The hundreds of thousands wandering the streets evoke our compassion, stir our conscience, and, for those mentally ill who are violent, test our definition of individual rights and liberties. FRONTLINE examines the troubling conflict between protecting the rights of the mentally ill to live outside of the mental hospitals and safeguarding society from those who are dangerous to themselves and to others. To explore this dilemma, the program focuses on the community of Northampton, Massachusetts, and the personal stories of one family, several mentally ill residents, and the lawyers, psychiatrists, and care givers who deal with the mentally ill on a daily basis.
Second only to Christmas, Valentine's Day is the holiday when diamonds are most often given as the ultimate token of love. Central to the diamond's role as a romantic symbol is the belief that diamonds are one of the rarest, most precious gifts for a loved one. But it's only a myth--diamonds are found in plentiful supply. FRONTLINE examines how the great myth about the scarcity of diamonds and their inflated value was created and maintained over the decades by the diamond cartel. This report chronicles how one family, the Oppenheimers of South Africa, gained control of the supply, marketing, and pricing of the world's diamonds.
On a quiet Sunday morning at home in the San Fernando Valley, a freelance reporter got a call from an expert in child sex crimes: Michael Jackson was under investigation. By the time the reporter's story aired twenty-four hours later, the media feeding frenzy was underway. Within a matter of days of the first report, the Jackson story had jumped from hard, verifiable news to spectacle and entertainment. FRONTLINE correspondent Richard Ben Cramer goes behind the scenes of the television coverage of the Michael Jackson story to look at the people, organizations, and economic pressures that have led to the tabloidization of American television. The program follows a few of the most exuberant and successful of the tabloid press as they pursue the Jackson story.
What is the fate of Tibet? To explore that question, FRONTLINE asked Orville Schell, an author and longtime observer of China, to make the journey to the Roof of the World. Forty years of Chinese occupation have left tens of thousands of Tibetans dead and six thousand Tibetan monasteries and temples destroyed. Today, the Dalai Lama is in exile, Lhasa, the capital, is predominantly Chinese, and one of Tibet's most sacred lakes is being developed for Chinese hydroelectric power. Schell vividly chronicles the history and culture of Tibet, explores the Chinese view of Tibet, and looks at why the survival of Tibet's people and culture has become an international issue.
As the world's eyes focus on whether the United States and NATO will finally break the two-year-long siege of Sarajevo, FRONTLINE goes behind the daily news images of this war to tell the story of the day-to-day lives of Sarajevo's beleaguered people. Yugoslavian-born filmmaker Radovan Tadic presents an intimate portrait of Sarajevans trying to live while deprived of almost everything--water, electricity, medicine, food, hope. Tadic's chronicle, filmed over a period of six months, ultimately becomes a meditation on the war, as well as a larger journey through the psychological and moral landscape of the besieged city.
'We just know this is our season--we want it all! So there's nothing that's going to get in our way,' says Trisha Stevens, one of the stars of the 1990 Stanford University women's basketball team. In this FRONTLINE report, producer Becky Smith takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Stanford team, its coach, and the season they set out to win the biggest dream in college sports--a national championship. Smith's six-month record of the team's 'miracle season' captures their spirit and determination, details coach Tara VanDerveer's strategy and tenaciousness, and chronicles the grueling twists and turns on the road to the title. The program poses important questions about the obstacles facing women's athletics which continue to fight for equal opportunities, funding, and media coverage.
Just a few years ago, nobody had ever heard of Jack Kevorkian. Today, he is the most famous doctor in America--and the most controversial. Kevorkian is celebrated by his supporters as a merciful angel of death, the only man courageous enough to publicly step forward to help those suffering needlessly at the end of life--the champion of a new civil-rights issue. To his opponents, Kevorkian is Dr. Death, a discredited pathologist whose obsession with death has led him to kill patients who are not yet at the end of their lives; a man who is trying to push America into a nightmarish future of death on demand. Who is the real Jack Kevorkian? FRONTLINE presents an in-depth examination Jack Kevorkian's record--exploring the man, his cases, and the issue he has come to personify.
On the eve of the first non-racial elections in South Africa, FRONTLINE presents an analysis of Nelson Mandela's ascent to power as the first democratically-elected leader of South Africa and the remarkable political comeback of his ex-wife, Winnie Mandela.
On May Day 1993, thousands of hard-core Russian Communists, their supporters, and militant nationalists rioted in Moscow's streets. Hundreds were injured. Protesters denouncing their government's massive economic reforms vowed to continue to forcefully resist these measures. Will 1994 be another bloody May Day for Russia's troubled people? FRONTLINE presents the story of the rise and fall of Boris Yeltsin, exploring the past two years of Russia's economic chaos and social turmoil and examining why Yeltsin's 'shock therapy' dramatically foundered. The program examines how social and political forces crippled Yeltsin and how the resulting power vacuum was skillfully seized by populist, fascist leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. [120 minutes]
The international press named the couple 'Romeo and Juliet.' He was Bosko Brckic, a twenty-four-year-old Serb. She was twenty-five-year-old Admira Ismic, a Muslim. Together, they tried to escape the war in Sarajevo and marry. But late in the afternoon of May 19, 1993, on a bridge leading out of Sarajevo, they died in each other's arms, shot down by snipers in the hills overlooking the besieged city. On the one-year anniversary of their deaths, as the tragic struggle over former Yugoslavia continues, FRONTLINE pieces together the story of this couple's life and their struggle to build a future together in the midst of war and in defiance of the centuries-old Balkan conflict. [90 minutes]
Senator Dale Bumpers calls it 'probably the most outrageous practice still going on in this country.' He is referring to a federal law passed in 1872 that allows mining companies to extract billions of dollars in public minerals virtually for free. FRONTLINE, in co-production with the Center for Investigative Reporting, examines the gold mining industry--which is in the midst of a boom bigger than the 1849 California gold rush--and the call for congressional reforms to halt environmental disasters and taxpayer giveaways. Correspondent Robert Krulwich surveys the impact of mining activities and focuses on the pitched political fight over control of mineral resources, like gold and silver, on public lands.
America continues to wage a battle against the stream of undocumented immigrants entering the country. An estimated three million undocumented immigrants currently reside in the US. Each year, another three hundred thousand illegal immigrants arrive in the US in addition to the nearly nine hundred thousand who are legally accepted. How long can America sustain this influx of immigrants? And how real are the growing fears about economic costs and long-term social and political disruption? Frontline correspondent William Langewiesche explores these questions, focusing on California.
What makes 11 year-old Evan lie, fight and steal? And what leads his parents to heap verbal abuse on their son, to tell him, 'I would like to lock you up in a cage and let everybody look at you like you're an animal'? Using surveillance cameras placed inside Evan's home, Frontline dramatically records one family's turmoil as they try to cope with and change their son's behavior and examines the vital connection between parenting and juvenile crime.
Integration. It was called the greatest social experiment of our generation. But 40 years after Brown v. Bd of Ed, many of our schools are still sharply segregated along color lines. America's changing demographics have tested the limits of our racial and ethnic tolerance, leaving many of us to ask whether the nation's diversity will enrich us or tear us apart. Follows one year in the lives of Berkeley CA students and principal.
As the Clinton administration claims significant progress in its commitment to streamline the federal government, Frontline investigates the one agency that is arguably the most resistant to reform--the Department of Agriculture. Focusing on the excesses, abuse, and mismanagement in the USDA's massive crop subsidy programs, Frontline examines how Congressional power has stymied a generation of agriculture secretaries, Republicans and Democrats alike, who have tired to reform the agency's bloated and outdated bureaucracy.
Frontline investigates a financial revolution--the movement of most of the world's money to huge off-shore banking centers, many located on the tiny islands of the Caribbean. The program examines how the secrecy and lax regulation of these off-shore centers play a critical role in facilitating international crime--money laundering, insurance fraud, and tax evasion.
Michael 'Mickey' Monus, the flamboyant co-founder and president of Phar-Mor, awaits criminal trial to decide if he was responsible for one of the largest corporate frauds in U.S. history. FRONTLINE tells the story of Phar-Mor's rapid rise and stunning fall and reveals how, for five years, the company's top executives were able to hide a $500 million shortfall from the company's auditors.
In 1969, Hillary Rodham Clinton and four hundred other smart, privileged, young women graduated from Wellesley College into a world that for the first time was opening its doors to women. But what about her classmates who left college believing they could do anything? In 1969, Hillary Rodham Clinton and four hundred other smart, privileged, young women graduated from Wellesley College into a world that for the first time was opening its doors to women.