Friday Crime Vids – The Good, the Obscure, and the Timely on PBS

Posted: May 17, 2013 in Research
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We’re taking a different tack on crime vids this Friday. Instead of the usual roundup of oddities, I’ve pulled together previews of some high-quality, but rather obscure documentaries or informational programs that apply to the topics we’ve been covering the last few weeks. For example, below is a preview of Peter Sagal’s (of “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” fame) PBS show on the U.S. Constitution.

I hate to label PBS shows as obscure, especially gems like this one, but I doubt too many people have seen Sagal’s series. It’s not only worth watching, it’s worth a season pass on your Tivo.


Next up is a yet-to-be-released documentary about a prisoner, Herman Wallace, who it’s claimed has been in solitary confinement longer than any other in the U.S. Here’s the promotional copy from the film’s website:

Herman Wallace may be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States—he’s spent more than 40 years in a 6-by-9-foot cell in Louisiana. Imprisoned in 1967 for a robbery he admits, he was subsequently sentenced to life for a killing he vehemently denies. Herman’s House is a moving account of the remarkable expression his struggle found in an unusual project proposed by artist Jackie Sumell. Imagining Wallace’s “dream home” began as a game and became an interrogation of justice and punishment in America. The film takes us inside the duo’s unlikely 12-year friendship, revealing the transformative power of art. Premiering on PBS’s POV July 8, 2013.

The final preview is actually a film that’s been around for a while (it’s on Netflix, for example), but it was also recently broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. The Invisible War is a documentary about the epidemic of sexual assaults against female military members. In light of the recent press on this topic, this film is more timely than ever, even though it was released last year.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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