Washington, D.C. — PBS and WETA, Washington, D.C.-based PBS station, today announced the final two films — “Security versus Liberty: The Other War” and “The Brotherhood” (working title) — to be included in the “America at a Crossroads” series. The two films complete a lineup of 11 documentaries scheduled to begin airing on Sunday, April 15 and run through Friday, April 20, 9 – 11 p.m. ET (check local listings).
The concept for “America at a Crossroads,” was developed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), as a series of documentaries that explores the challenges confronting the world post 9/11, including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops; the struggle for balance within the Islamic world; Muslim life in America; and perspectives on America’s role globally. The distinguished journalist Robert MacNeil will host the series.
The first of the new selections, “Security versus Liberty: The Other War,” will air at 9 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 20, and is co-produced by WHUT and ABC News Productions. The film explores the impact of counter-terrorism measures on Americans’ individual liberties by examining specific cases, speaking with advocates and critics of the Bush Administration’s policies, and meeting people whose lives have been deeply affected by these new policies.
The second of the two new selections, “The Brotherhood,” (w.t.) is slated to air at 10 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 20, and features award-winning Newsweek journalists Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff. Together, they investigate whether members of the Muslim Brotherhood — an international Islamic movement dedicated to spreading Sharia Law and reinstating the Caliphate — are deadly enemies of the West, or people with whom the U.S. government should negotiate.
In addition to announcing the final two films, WETA and PBS announced three films that will air as standalone specials — “Kansas to Kandahar” in summer 2007, “Inside America’s Empire” in fall 2007, and “The Anti-Americans: a hate/love relationship” in late fall 2007.
CPB developed the initial concept for “America at a Crossroads” in 2004 with an open call for film projects. More than 400 proposals were submitted from public television stations and independent documentary filmmakers around the world. In 2006, CPB named WETA the producing station charged with overseeing all films throughout production. Funding for the series, along with support for the broad outreach program, was provided by CPB.
Aimed at creating a national dialogue surrounding the crucial issues explored in the series, an extensive media and outreach campaign in more than 25 cities accompanies the series. The campaign features the filmmakers and their subjects in discussions with United States military personnel, leading policy experts, leaders of the Muslim American community, scholars from across the country as well as members of the public. Integrated Web and educational initiatives, along with local programming, further extend the campaign. The series has a major interactive Web presence at www.pbs.org/crossroads.
The executive producers of “America at a Crossroads” are Jeff Bieber and Dalton Delan. The series producer is Leo Eaton, and Marjolaine Souquet is the associate producer.
WETA is the third-largest producing station in the public television system and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital. WETA productions and co-productions include “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal,” “Avoiding Armageddon,” “American Valor,” “Reporting America at War” and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including “The War,” coming to PBS in September 2007. For more information on WETA and its programs, visit the website at www.weta.org.
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"America at a Crossroads" is a major public television event premiering on PBS in April 2007 that explores the challenges confronting the world post 9/11 — including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops; Muslim life in America; the struggle for balance within the Islamic world; and perspectives on America’s role in the world. The series of 11 documentaries, hosted by journalist Robert MacNeil, is scheduled to launch on Sunday, April 15 and will run through Friday, April 20, 9 – 11 p.m. ET (check local listings). Additional films will air as specials following the premiere.
An extensive media and outreach campaign in more than 25 cities accompanies the series — creating a national dialogue that includes screenings and discussions with U.S. military personnel, leading policy experts and leaders of the Muslim American community; an integrated Web presence; and educational initiatives.
AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS SCHEDULE
Sunday, April 15 – Friday, April 20, 2007 on PBS
(Note: All times are Eastern Standard Time and are subject to change.)
Sunday, April 15
JIHAD: THE MEN AND IDEAS BEHIND AL QAEDA, 9 – 11 p.m.
Monday, April 16
WARRIORS, 9 – 10 p.m.
OPERATION HOMECOMING: WRITING THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE, 10 – 11 p.m.
Tuesday, April 17
GANGS OF IRAQ, 9 – 10 p.m.
THE CASE FOR WAR: IN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM, 10 – 11 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18
EUROPE’S 9/11, 9 – 10 p.m.
AMERICA’S MUSLIMS, 10 – 11 p.m.
Thursday, April 19
FAITH WITHOUT FEAR, 9 – 10 p.m.
STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF ISLAM: INSIDE INDONESIA, 10 – 11p.m.
Friday, April 20
SECURITY VERSUS LIBERTY: THE OTHER WAR, 9 – 10 p.m.
THE BROTHERHOOD (w.t.), 10 – 11 p.m.
April Broadcast Program Descriptions
JIHAD: The Men and Ideas behind Al Qaeda
Executive producer: Clive Syddall, Paladin Invision
Producer: Bill Crann
Airdate: April 15, 2007 at 9 p.m. Check local listings.
Providing an in-depth look at modern, radical Islamic groups, JIHAD: The Men and Ideas Behind Al Qaeda explores the ideas and beliefs that inspire them, along with the challenges they pose for governments in the Middle East and the West. From the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1940s to Islamic organizations today, the film offers insightful perspectives of Islam from Western and Middle Eastern journalists, U.S. intelligence experts on the frontlines of the fight against Al Qaeda, and friends and contemporaries of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Producers: Karl Zinsmeister and Ann Zinsmeister
Director and Writer: Ed Robbins
Airdate: April 16, 2007 at 9 p.m. Check local listings.
Warriors profiles a handful of Army soldiers filmed during the Spring and Fall of 2005 in some of the most dangerous areas in and around Baghdad. Their stories are revealed through intimate snapshots as they face the daily complexities and personal risks of the war in Iraq. Warriors opens a compelling, harrowing and at times humorous window on some less familiar sides of a soldier’s daily life: a look at who they are, what they do and why.
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Executive producer: Tom Yellin, The Documentary Group
Producer: Richard Robbins
Airdate: April 16, 2007 at 10 p.m. Check local listings.
A documentary explores the searing firsthand accounts of American troops through their own words — fiction, verse, letters, essays and personal journals. The film is based on the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) initiative by the same name, which was a series of writing workshops conducted by distinguished authors at domestic and overseas military installations. Combining interviews and dramatic readings, the film transforms this remarkable collection of writing into a deep examination of life on the front lines. The film provides depth and context for these experiences through conversations with great American writers from previous wars, including Tim O’Brien and James Salter. The stories recounted are sad, funny, violent and uplifting. The writings come to life with readings by Josh Lucas, Aaron Eckhart, Blair Underwood and others. Operation Homecoming evokes the universal emotions of war with a haunting poignancy and raw emotion.
Gangs of Iraq
Executive producer: Sherry Jones, Washington Media Associates and David Fanning, WGBH
Producer: Marty Smith, RAINMedia
Airdate: April 17, 2007 at 9 p.m. Check local listings.
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 failed and how the Coalition-trained forces have themselves been infiltrated by various sectarian militias. Now, with President Bush proposing to send 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.
The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom
Executive producers: Phil Craig, Brook Lapping Productions
Producer: Mick Gold
Airdate: April 17, 2007 at 10 p.m. Check local listings.
With debate over the war in Iraq reaching a fever pitch, The Case For War: In Defense of Freedom follows one of the advocates of the war against Saddam Hussein. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle travels the globe articulating, defending and debating the neoconservative case for an assertive American foreign policy. Perle finds no shortage of candidates willing to challenge him on the issue, including the wife of a soldier serving in Iraq and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke.
Executive producer: Phil Craig, Brook Lapping Productions
Producer: David Alter
Airdate: April 18, 2007 at 9p.m. Check local listings.
Europe’s 9/11 explores in-depth the phenomenon of homegrown terrorism, examining the bombings in Madrid, Spain and the connections between those bombers and Al Qaeda cell activities in Milan, Italy and the Van Gogh murder in the Netherlands. Interviews with key officials and intelligence agencies highlight the difficulties governments face in identifying potential terrorists among radical Islamists and in protecting citizens from these internal threats.
Executive producer: Susan Mills, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
Producer: Ricki Green
Airdate: April 18, 2007 at 10 p.m. Check local listings.
The film is an exploration of the diversity of Muslims in America today, focusing on communities’ experience after 9/11 and contrasting life for Muslims in the United States with those in Britain and Europe. Produced in conjunction with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer — including NewsHour correspondents Ray Suarez, Judy Woodruff, Spencer Michels and Fred de Sam Lazaro, and with an opening and closing by Robert MacNeil — the film looks at the ongoing conversation American Muslims are having about life in the United States, including assimilation, discrimination, Muslim youth, religion and politics.
Faith Without Fear
Executive producer: Gordon Henderson, 90th Parallel Films and Television LTD
Producer: Ian McLeod
Airdate: April 19, 2007 at 9 p.m. Check local listings.
In Faith Without Fear, Muslim dissident Irshad Manji is on a journey to help restore humanity and reason to Islam. Inspired by the Quran, Irshad asks, “How has a religion of justice become mired in fear?” Trekking through Yemen, Europe and North America, she discovers that Islamic faith can be reconciled with individual freedom — if Muslims have the courage to change. Along the way, Irshad is changed by one of her fiercest Muslim critics. But the biggest epiphany of all comes from her pious mom . . . .
Struggle for the Soul of Islam: Inside Indonesia
Executive producer: Ann Derry, New York Times Television
Producers: Ken Levis and Calvin Sims
Airdate: April 19, 2007 at 10 p.m. Check local listings.
Struggle for the Soul of Islam: Inside Indonesia explores Indonesia’s long history of moderation in its practice of Islam and how Islamist radicals have made the country a flash point in the global war on terror. The film provides an inside look at how this fledgling democracy, with its moderate Muslim majority that practices Islam markedly differently than in the Middle East, is struggling to control the rise of religious extremism. A potential model for Muslim democracy emerges, if Indonesia can succeed in containing the terrorist threat.
Security versus Liberty: The Other War
Production Company: WHUT and ABC News Productions
Executive Producers: Jennifer Lawson, Lisa Zeff
Producer: Edward Gray
Airdate: April 20, 2007 at 9 p.m. (check local listings)
Following 9/11, the U.S. government adopted some controversial new policies to help prevent terrorism here at home, including eavesdropping on Americans’ phone calls, secret demands for records under the Patriot Act, and the use of FBI sting operations. The Bush Administration contends these tactics have helped save American lives, but critics say they have taken a toll on our liberties. Security versus Liberty: The Other War explores this urgent national debate by talking with both critics and advocates of the new policies, and telling the compelling real-life stories of people whose lives have been directly affected.
The Brotherhood (w.t.)
Production Company: Big Pictures, Ltd.
Executive Producer: Steve Hewlett
Producer: Tony Stark
Airdate: April 20, 2007 at 10 p.m. Check Local Listings
The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to the spread of a fundamental form of Islam throughout the world — but is it also supporting terrorists? Award-winning Newsweek journalists Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff investigate a movement that preaches peaceful co-existence while offering inspiration for jihadi groups. They meet a top Brotherhood leader condemned by President Bush for financing Al Qaeda and Hamas, a sympathizer living freely in Germany though believed to have played a significant role in 9/11 and a Brotherhood supporter who met with U.S. presidents while plotting an assassination.
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