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Frontline

Season 2007 2007

  • 2007-01-17T03:00:00+01:00 on PBS
  • 60 mins
  • 17 hours, 32 mins (17 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, News

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.

17 episodes

2007x01 Hand of God

  • Season Premiere

    2007-01-17T03:00:00+01:00 — 86 mins

In recent decades, more than 10,000 children reportedly were sexually abused by Catholic priests in the United States. From behind the headlines, filmmaker Joe Cultrera tells the very personal story of how the crisis affected his own family in Salem, Mass. It is the intimate story of how his brother, Paul, was molested in the 1960s by Father Joseph Birmingham, who also reportedly abused nearly 100 other children. Paul Cultrera would keep his secret for 30 years until he decided to finally confront the church and launched his own investigation into how the Archdiocese of Boston had covered up allegations against Father Birmingham and moved the priest from parish to parish, placing more and more children in danger. In a sometimes raw and emotional film, the Cultrera family tells their story of faith betrayed by the scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church.

In News War, FRONTLINE examines the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Through interviews with key figures in print, broadcast and electronic media over the past four decades -- and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE traces the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press, to the new challenges presented by the war on terror and other global forces now changing -- and challenging -- the role of the press in our society. In part one of News War: Secrets, Sources & Spin, FRONTLINE examines the political and legal forces challenging the mainstream news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Correspondent Lowell Bergman talks to the major players in the debates over the role of journalism in 2007, examining the relationship between the Bush administration and the press; the controversies surrounding the use of anonymous sources in reporting from Watergate to the present; and the unintended consequences of the Valerie Plame investigation -- a confusing and at times ugly affair that ultimately damaged both reporters' reputations and the legal protections they thought they enjoyed under the First Amendment.

In News War, FRONTLINE examines the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Through interviews with key figures in print, broadcast and electronic media over the past four decades -- and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE traces the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press, to the new challenges presented by the war on terror and other global forces now changing -- and challenging -- the role of the press in our society. Part two continues with the legal jeopardy faced by a number of reporters across the country, and the additional complications generated by the war on terror. Correspondent Lowell Bergman interviews reporters facing jail for refusing to reveal their sources in the context of leak investigations and asks questions on tough issues that now confront the editors of the nation's leading newspapers, including: how much can the press reveal about secret government programs in the war on terror without jeopardizing national security? FRONTLINE looks past the heated, partisan rhetoric to determine how much of this battle is politics and whether such reporting actually harms national security.

In News War, FRONTLINE examines the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Through interviews with key figures in print, broadcast and electronic media over the past four decades -- and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE traces the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press, to the new challenges presented by the war on terror and other global forces now changing -- and challenging -- the role of the press in our society. The third hour of News War puts viewers on the front lines of an epic battle over the future of news. America's major network news divisions and daily newspapers are under siege, facing mounting pressure for profits from corporate owners, and growing challenges from cable television and the Internet, which are remaking the economics of the business and transforming the very definition of news. FRONTLINE talks to network executives, journalists, Wall Street analysts, bloggers, and key players at Google and Yahoo! who are all battling for survival and market dominance in a rapidly changing world of news. FRONTLINE also goes inside the embattled newsroom of The Los Angeles Times, one of the last remaining papers in the country still covering major national stories. Under severe pressure from Wall Street to cut costs and to compete for "eyeballs" in a new media world, editors at the paper are urgently trying to figure out what this means for their future news coverage and their public service mission.

In News War, FRONTLINE examines the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Through interviews with key figures in print, broadcast and electronic media over the past four decades -- and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE traces the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press, to the new challenges presented by the war on terror and other global forces now changing -- and challenging -- the role of the press in our society. The fourth hour of News War looks at media around the globe to reveal the international forces that influence journalism and politics in the United States. The lead story focuses on the new Arab media and its role in both mitigating and exacerbating the clash between the West and Islam. With a focus on Al Jazeera and how it has changed the face of a parochial and tightly controlled Arab media, this hour explores Al Jazeera's growing influence around the world -- from Muslim communities in Europe to the pending launch of a new English-language service that will be broadcast in the United States.

2007x06 So Much So Fast

  • 2007-04-04T03:00:00+02:00 — 60 mins

When he was 29 years old, Stephen Heywood was diagnosed with ALS -- also called Lou Gehrig's disease -- and told he had two to five years to live. But Stephen and his family refused to accept the doctors' death sentence. So Much So Fast follows the Heywoods' passionate, acerbic, and relentlessly hopeful reaction to a disease that transforms their lives. Stephen's older brother, Jamie, starts a foundation dedicated to finding a cure through fast-paced guerrilla science that attracts both praise and controversy. Stephen gets married and he and his wife, Wendy, have a son. They confront the encroaching paralysis of ALS with a mix of courage and humor, and, surrounded by friends and family, upend the cliches of their situation. From Oscar-nominated (Troublesome Creek) filmmakers Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan, So Much So Fast tells a haunting story of one family's unexpected answers to some of life's biggest questions.

2007x07 Gangs of Iraq

  • 2007-04-18T03:00:00+02:00 — 54 mins

Day after day scores of bodies litter the streets of Baghdad. To staunch the violence, the U.S. has spent billions to "stand up" the Iraqi forces. In Gangs of Iraq, a joint production of FRONTLINE and the "America at a Crossroads" series, FRONTLINE takes a hard look at how the four-year training effort has fared and how the coalition-trained forces have themselves been infiltrated by various sectarian militias. Now, with President Bush sending new U.S. troops to Iraq, it remains to be seen if America and its allies can build a national Iraqi army and police and restore order.

2007x08 Hot Politics

  • 2007-04-25T03:00:00+02:00 — 53 mins

FRONTLINE and the Center for Investigative Reporting go behind the scenes to explore how bi-partisan political and economic forces prevented the U.S. government from confronting what may be one of the most serious problems facing humanity today. The film examines some of the key moments that have shaped the politics of global warming, and how local and state governments and the private sector are now taking bold steps in the absence of federal leadership.

2007x09 The Mormons (1)

  • 2007-05-01T03:00:00+02:00 — 60 mins

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of America's fastest growing religions, and its influence circles the globe. The church has 12 million members today and over half of them live outside the United States. Yet the birth of Mormonism and its history is one of America's great neglected narratives. This four-hour documentary brings together FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in their first co-production to provide a searching portrait of this fascinating but often misunderstood religion. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Helen Whitney ("Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero," "John Paul II: The Millennial Pope"), the film will explore the richness, the complexities, and the controversies of the Mormons' story as told through interviews with leaders and members of the church, with leading writers and historians, and with supporters and critics of the Mormon faith.

2007x10 The Mormons (2)

  • 2007-05-02T03:00:00+02:00 — 60 mins

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of America's fastest growing religions, and its influence circles the globe. The church has 12 million members today and over half of them live outside the United States. Yet the birth of Mormonism and its history is one of America's great neglected narratives. This four-hour documentary brings together FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in their first co-production to provide a searching portrait of this fascinating but often misunderstood religion. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Helen Whitney ("Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero," "John Paul II: The Millennial Pope"), the film will explore the richness, the complexities, and the controversies of the Mormons' story as told through interviews with leaders and members of the church, with leading writers and historians, and with supporters and critics of the Mormon faith.

2007x11 When Kids Get Life

  • 2007-05-09T03:00:00+02:00 — 84 mins

The U.S. is one of the very few countries in the world that allows children under eighteen to be prosecuted as adults and sentenced to life without parole. In Colorado, between 1992 and 2005, 45 juveniles between fifteen and eighteen were sentenced to prison without the hope of ever being released. Last spring, the state's legislature eased its tough laws targeting juvenile offenders. The state passed a bill that made parole possible after 40 years in prison, but the measure did not apply retroactively to the 45 former juveniles now in Colorado's prison system. Producer Ofra Bikel visits five young men in Colorado sentenced to life without parole to examine their crimes and punishment, the laws that sanctioned their convictions, and the prospect of never being free again.

2007x12 Spying on the Home Front

  • 2007-05-16T03:00:00+02:00 — 60 mins

FRONTLINE addresses an issue of major consequence for all Americans: Is the Bush administration's domestic war on terrorism jeopardizing our civil liberties? Reporter Hedrick Smith presents new material on how the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program works and examines clashing viewpoints on whether the president has violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and infringed on constitutional protections. In another dramatic story, the program shows how the FBI vacuumed up records on 250,000 ordinary Americans who chose Las Vegas as the destination for their Christmas-New Year's holiday, and the subsequent revelation that the FBI has misused National Security Letters to gather information. Probing such projects as Total Information Awareness, and its little known successors, Smith discloses that even former government intelligence officials now worry that the combination of new security threats, advances in communications technologies, and radical interpretations of presidential authority may be threatening the privacy of Americans.

2007x13 Endgame

  • 2007-06-20T03:00:00+02:00 — 60 mins

As the United States begins one final effort to secure victory through a "surge" of troops, FRONTLINE investigates how strategic and tactical mistakes brought Iraq to civil war. The film recounts how the early mandate to create the conditions for a quick exit of the American military led to chaos, failure, and sectarian strife. In Endgame, producer Michael Kirk (Rumsfeld's War, The Torture Question, The Dark Side, and The Lost Year in Iraq) traces why the president decided to risk what military planners once warned could be the worst way to fight in Iraq -- door-to-door -- and assesses the likelihood of its success. Top administration figures, military commanders, and journalists offer inside details about the new strategy.

2007x14 Cheney's Law

  • 2007-10-17T03:00:00+02:00 — 56 mins

For three decades, Vice President Dick Cheney has waged a secretive, and often bitter battle to expand the power of the presidency. Now in a direct confrontation with Congress, as the administration asserts executive privilege to head off investigations into domestic wiretapping and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE meticulously traces the behind-closed-doors battle within the administration over the power of the presidency and the rule of law.

2007x15 Showdown With Iran

  • 2007-10-24T03:00:00+02:00 — 56 mins

As Iraq descends into chaos and civil war, FRONTLINE examines the rise of its neighbor -- Iran -- as one of America's greatest threats and most puzzling foreign policy challenges. Through interviews with key players on both sides, FRONTLINE traces the tumultuous history of U.S.-Iran relations since 9/11 -- from unprecedented early cooperation in Afghanistan, to the growing crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions and Tehran's open threats to drive America out of the Middle East.

2007x16 The Undertaking

  • 2007-10-31T02:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

In this moving and powerful film, FRONTLINE enters the world of Thomas Lynch, a poet and undertaker whose family for three generations has cared for both the living and the dead in a small Michigan town. Through the intimate stories of families coming to terms with grief, mortality, and a funeral's rituals, the film illuminates the heartbreak and beauty in the journey taken between the living and the dead when a loved one dies.

2007x17 On Our Watch

  • 2007-11-21T03:00:00+01:00 — 56 mins

The world invoked its vow "Never Again!" after the genocide in Rwanda and atrocities in Srebrenica. Then came Darfur. Over the past four years at least 200,000 people have been killed, 2.5 million driven from their homes, and mass rapes have once more been used as a weapon of war in a brutal campaign by Janjaweed militias and the Sudanese government against civilians in Darfur. FRONTLINE producer Neil Docherty asks why the international community and the United Nations have once again failed to stop the slaughter.

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