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The film examines cases of death row inmates who came close to execution only to be exonerated and freed from prison. In an extreme case of miscarriage of justice, one of the wrongly convicted men came within days of electrocution before being exonerated through the work of two Northwestern University students. Another subject of the film spent two years living next to the room that housed the electric chair before being cleared after a post conviction DNA test. The Governor of Illinois explains why he ended executions in his state and there is a special performance at United Nations of Jessica Blank’s Broadway play entitled “The Exonerated”.
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The mid 1960’s saw America at war on two fronts: on the paddy fields of Vietnam and in the streets of 53 of its cities that erupted into violence that bordered on anarchy. Inside the White House President Johnson is besieged as he perceives enemies to be at every turn. None were more dangerous or corrosive than the threat posed by the junior senator from New York, Robert F. Kennedy. Drawing on tapes released by the Johnson library we revealed the impact of Johnson’s paranoia. We also see his desperate attempt to court favor with JFK’s widow Jackie Kennedy Onassis. On tapes released only after Jackie’s death we hear LBJ proclaim his love and devotion for Jackie and his desire the become “John-John” and Caroline’s “new daddy.”
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The film was commissioned to celebrate the life of Ronald Reagan, which was to be broadcast after the president’s death. In that context the film is a tribute to an amazing life rather than a hard-hitting political reassessment. The interviews include Nancy Reagan, Paddy Davis, Michael Reagan, Ronnie Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, George Shultz, James Baker, Merv Griffin, Dan Rostenkowski, Brian Mulroney, and many others.
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This film is a portrait of the 37th president that looks beyond Watergate to examine both Nixon’s brilliance as well as his fatal flaws. It highlights the astute political instincts that brought him into the presidency and ultimately the weakness of character that brought him down. Alexander Butterfield, who installed the White House taping system, provides a unique perspective on Richard Nixon, the man. By listening to hundreds of hours of these recordings the production team is able to fully reveal how Nixon conducted himself in office.
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The film explores one of the greatest political rivalries in American history. Bobby Kennedy saw the president as “a mean, vicious man; an animal in many ways'' who demanded total loyalty. President Johnson saw his Attorney General as “a limit runt of a man, consumed by his sense of entitlement.” LBJ seceded Bobby’s brother John as president, and as Bobby campaigned to secede LBJ in the presidency, the relationship became increasingly volatile, which provides an interesting backdrop through which to re-examine extraordinary times.
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in April of 1945. During his unprecedented 4 terms in office FDR presided over some of the most impactful moments in 20th century American history. From his battle with polio, to the depression and World War II, this is a very personal assessment that reveals many previously unknown aspects about one of our most beloved and private presidents. His grandson provides a family perspective; a secret diary written by his cousin and confidant Daisy Suckley takes us inside his cloistered world. We meet Churchill’s advisor who saw FDR at the Yalta Conference, and the Secret Service agent who knew the man the country re-elected in 1944 was about to die.
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