Project Category: Social Issues

This series, commissioned by the BBC’s former Director General Lord Tony Hall, traces Sir Charles Wheeler’s reporting from America that began at the height of the Vietnam war and extended well into the Reagan presidency. The five-part, Grierson nominated series examines Nixon’s treason that resulted in a stolen election in 1968, Johnson’s failed efforts to create a “Great Society”, the Vietnam War, America’s defeat in its war on drugs, and Reagan’s reliance on the advice of a San Francisco astrologer. 
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In 2015 US Border Patrol seized 1.5 million pounds of illegal substances attempting to cross at the US southern border. That accounts for 99.4% of seized drugs by the agency that year. The Texas Rangers are at war with the Mexican cartels and multinational gangs who operate these smuggling activities across the Rio Grande. For six months the production team was granted exclusive access to the Texas Rangers’ reconnaissance teams conducting interdiction efforts along the river. From Department of Public Safety helicopters, drones, water patrols, and hidden teams of heavily armed Rangers, the documentary follows the department’s confrontations with the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas.
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In the summer of 1991 the BBC commissioned a film that involved following Democratic challenges to President George HW Bush during the six months leading up to the Iowa caucuses. At the time Bush, stood with a 91% approval rating and appeared unassailable. During the course of filming Bush went from invincibility to vulnerability. The film takes an inside look into the campaigns of Senator Paul Tsongas and Senator Tom Harkin. The film also covers the emergence of Governor Bill Clinton, the ultimate “Comeback Kid.” The film explore the economic decline that suddenly suggested George HW Bush would be a one-term president.
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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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