Docs ‘The Vote’ and ‘Mae West: Dirty Blonde’ Among Titles Due on Disc and Digital in August From PBS

The documentary American Experience: The Vote, season seven of “Endeavour,” American Masters: Mae West — Dirty Blonde, Asian Americans, Nova: Eagle Power, and season two of “Poetry in America” are coming to disc and digital from PBS Distribution in August.

Due on DVD and digital Aug. 11 is American Experience: The Vote, honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment of women’s suffrage on Aug. 18, 1920. The documentary tells the story of the crusade waged by American women for the right to vote. Focusing primarily on the movement’s final decade, the film charts American women’s determined march to the ballot box, and illuminates the myriad social, political and cultural obstacles that stood in their path. Mae Whitman voices Alice Paul, Audra McDonald voices Ida B. Wells, Laura Linney voices Carrie Chapman Catt, and Patricia Clarkson voices Harriot Stanton Blatch.

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Season seven of “Endeavour” comes out Aug. 25 on Blu-ray, DVD and digital. In the seventh installment in “Masterpiece” program, Endeavour and his colleagues enter a new decade and era of change. Opening on New Year’s Eve 1969, normal order has been resumed and the team reunited at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge. However, the events of the past year have left their mark: old friendships will be challenged and new relationships will blossom. Amidst the dawn of women’s liberation, social progression and scientific growth, the 1970s begin for Oxford’s finest with the discovery of a body at the canal towpath on New Year’s Day. With the only clue in the investigation being a witness who heard whistling on the night of the crime, the team have their work cut out to uncover their culprit.

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Due Aug. 11 on DVD and digital is American Masters: Mae West — Dirty Blonde. The documentary chronicles the life of Hollywood icon Mae West, who achieved great acclaim in every entertainment medium that existed during her lifetime, spanning eight decades of the 20th century. A full-time actress at 7, a vaudevillian at 14, a dancing sensation at 25, a Broadway playwright at 33, a silver screen ingénue at 40, a Vegas nightclub act at 62, a recording artist at 73, a camp icon at 85 — West left no format unconquered.

Also due Aug 11 on DVD and digital is Asian Americans, a five-part documentary program that delivers a new perspective on the Asian American experience. It traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, international relations and cultural innovation.

Nova: Eagle Power, coming Aug. 11 on DVD and digital, explores the bald eagle, a North American legend with a deep connection to Native American cultures and emblematic status that helped it make a remarkable journey back from the brink of extinction. What makes this iconic predator so extraordinary? And how does it fit into the global family of some 60 eagle species spread across six continents? “Nova” takes viewers into the lives of these spectacular birds, revealing their exceptional strength, eyesight and flying skills.

Finally, coming Aug. 25 on DVD and digital, is the second season of “Poetry in America,” which covers poets, public figures and members of various communities who join series creator Elisa New to engage in intimate readings of a single American poem. The poems include “Urban Love Poem” — Marilyn Chin, “One Art” — Elizabeth Bishop, “The Fish” — Marianne Moore, “This Your Home Now” — Mark Doty, “Finishing the Hat” — Stephen Sondheim, “You and I Are Disappearing” – Yusef Komunyakaa, “This Is Just to Say” — William Carlos Williams, and “Leaves of Grass” — Walt Whitman.

New Season of ‘Grantchester,’ Doc ‘Titans of the 20th Century’ Among Titles Coming to Disc From PBS in July

Season five of “Grantchester,” the documentary Titans of the 20th Century and American Experience: George W. Bush are among the titles coming to disc and digital in July from PBS Distribution.

Season five of “Grantchester”

In season five of “Grantchester,” available on digital and DVD July 21, it’s 1957, and Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) has settled into his role as the vicar of Grantchester, preaching to a packed church. His best friend, Detective Inspector Georgie Keating (Robson Green), has come to accept (just about) his wife Cathy’s commitment to her job. Mrs. C. happily juggles her roles as the vicarage housekeeper and being a well-to-do married woman, and after a trip to Marrakech, even Leonard has managed to carve out some happiness with Daniel. But Will’s faith will be thoroughly tested as he and Geordie are reminded once more that there’s darkness lurking in their little corner of Cambridgeshire. In addition to Brittney and Green, returning members of the acclaimed ensemble include Tessa Peake-Jones, Kacey Ainsworth and Al Weaver.

American Experience: George W. Bush

Also coming to DVD and digital July 21 is American Experience: George W. Bush, a look at the life and governance of the 43rd president of the United States. The program starts with Bush’s unorthodox road to the presidency through the contested election of 2000, when a Supreme Court ruling resulted in his becoming the president. Then, the film chronicles the tumultuous events, domestically and internationally, that dominated Bush’s eight years in office — the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the subsequent war in Iraq, the search for weapons of mass destruction, Hurricane Katrina, and the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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American Experience: Mr. Tornado

Another “American Experience” title is coming to DVD and digital July 21, Mr. Tornado. The Super Outbreak of 1974 was the most intense tornado outbreak on record, tearing a vicious path of destruction across 13 states, generating 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Ontario, damaging thousands of homes, and killing more than 300 people. Meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita spent 10 months studying the tornado outbreak’s aftermath in the most extensive aerial tornado study ever conducted, and through detailed mapping and leaps of scientific imagination, made a series of meteorological breakthroughs. His discovery of “microbursts,” sudden high wind patterns that could cause airplanes to drop from the sky without warning, transformed aviation safety and saved untold numbers of lives.

The documentary The Greatest Bond is coming to DVD and digital July 14. Centered around the Patriot Paws service dog organization based in Dallas, the program follows a group of disabled U.S. veterans who are about to be given a service dog and shows their transformation as the dogs expand the veterans’ world and start to heal them.

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Also due on digital and DVD July 14 is Titans of the 20th Century, a biography of some of the most significant politicians of the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, men who caused and men who cured the worlds most troubled times, from the last shot fired in the First World War to the victory of Mao Zedong. This program is a story of the power to lead and mislead, to inspire and to cause mass destruction. These were men who came from different parts of the world, espoused radically different political doctrines and that seem to have had no common characteristics except an ambition to lead, a taste for power and a belief that they had been chosen by destiny.

American Experience: The Man Who Tried to Feed the World

American Experience: The Man Who Tried to Feed the World debuts on DVD and digital July 28. In 1966, drought and an exploding population confronted India with the imminent threat of a severe famine that many scientists and intellectuals feared was a harbinger of global catastrophes to come. As the world’s population outstripped its ability to produce food, India turned to Norman Borlaug, an unassuming plant breeder from Iowa whose combination of scientific knowledge and raw determination had made him a legend among a small handful of fellow specialists. The Man Who Tried to Feed the World recounts and explores the story of the man who would not only solve India’s famine problem, but also would go on to lead a “Green Revolution” of worldwide agricultural programs estimated to have saved 1 billion lives. He was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work, but spent the rest of his life watching his methods and achievements come under increasing fire.

Season one of “Somewhere South”

Season one of “Somewhere South” comes out on DVD and digital July 28. Celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and award-winning host for the PBS series “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard hosts a culinary journey that explores the cultural twists on classic dishes and new traditions that are being formed in the American South. Howard examines some of the popular dishes that unite us all — dumplings, hand pies, porridge and many others — and speaks on how these dishes change from culture to culture. In North Carolina, she tries the collard sandwich, a staple of Lumbee Indian cuisine in the Carolinas. Then she goes to West Virginia to eat pepperoni rolls, a dish inspired by coal miners. Howard travels to Charleston, where rice is king, and enjoys grits along with other rice dishes that are among the favorites of South Carolina’s bustling food scene.

VIral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations

Finally, Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations comes out on DVD and digital July 28. Antisemitism in the United States and Europe is rising and worsening in ways not seen since the 1930s. It comes in the forms of vandalism, social media abuse, assault and murder. Emmy-winning filmmaker Andrew Goldberg and producer Diana Robinson explore its infectious behavior by traveling through four countries to speak firsthand with victims, witnesses and antisemites, interviewing subjects including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Fareed Zakaria, George Will, Deborah Lipstadt and others. With opening narration by Julianna Margulies, the film examines the far right in the United States and how it has incited such acts as the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Then moving to the far left in England, the documentary explores the traditionally anti-racist Labour party conflating Israel and Jews, causing tremendous harm to the Jewish community. In France, the program delves into the seemingly endless wave of violence against Jews by Islamists and radicals.

Jane Austen’s ‘Sanditon,’ ‘Howards End’ Among Titles Due on Disc and Digital From PBS in February

The Jane Austen series “Sanditon” and a miniseries of the classic E.M. Forster novel “Howards End” are among the titles coming to disc and digital from PBS Distribution in February.

Writer-executive producer Andrew Davies completes Austen’s last piece of work — unfinished due to her death in 1817 — with the PBS “Masterpiece” series “Sanditon,” due on Blu-ray, DVD and digital Feb. 4.  Davies (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Les Misérables,” “Little Dorrit”) takes the first 11 chapters of the final Austen masterpiece and creates an epic drama. Set during the Regency Period, the story follows Tom Parker (Kris Marshall), who is obsessed with turning the sleepy seaside village of Sanditon into a fashionable health resort. He enlists the financial backing of the local, curmudgeonly wealthy widow, Lady Denham (Anne Reid). Through a mishap while traveling through the countryside, Tom and his wife Mary (Kate Ashfield) make the acquaintance of the Heywoods, a local farming family. While describing his plans for Sanditon, their eldest daughter Charlotte (Rose Williams) is intrigued and excited and Tom invites her for an extended stay at the seaside town. Upon her initial arrival, the sensible and naive Charlotte observes hypochondria, avarice and attempted seduction run amok. Lady Denham is playing matchmaker for her destitute nephew, Sir Edward (Jack Fox), who is determined to seduce Lady Denham’s ward, Clara (Lily Sacofsky), and become the primary heir to his aunt’s estate. The arrival of wealthy, mixed-race heiress Miss Lambe (Crystal Clarke), under the guardianship of Tom’s upright brother Sidney (Theo James), due to a promise he made to Lambe’s father on his deathbed, adds an interesting complication. Eligible men naturally find Miss Lambe fascinating, while Charlotte is intrigued by Sidney. Charlotte Spencer also stars as Sir Edward’s scheming sister, Esther. Even as Austen was succumbing to her fatal illness, she chose to lampoon the contemporary fad for tonics, sea water cures and other medical remedies. Undiagnosed at the time, her malady was probably Addison’s disease, which today is easily treatable. Austen died at age 41, on July 18, 1817.

“Howard’s End”

Also due Feb. 4 from “Masterpiece” on DVD and digital is the four-episode miniseries “Howards End,” starring Matthew Macfadyen, Julia Ormond, Hayley Atwell, Philippa Coulthard and Tracey Ullman. The series follows Margaret Schlegel (Atwell), an intelligent, idealistic young woman who is courted by the older Henry Wilcox (Macfadyen), a self-made conservative businessman. After his wife Ruth (Ormond) dies unexpectedly, he becomes the owner of Howards End. Meanwhile Margaret’s passionate and capricious younger sister Helen Schlegel (Coulthard) takes up the cause of Leonard Bast, a young bank clerk who falls on hard times at work and at home with his partner Jacky. In the absence of their late parents, the sisters’ loving but interfering Aunt Juley (Ullman) tries to keep the young ladies and their brother Tibby on the straight and narrow. The adaptation is written by Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the SeaGangs of New York).

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Coming Feb. 11 on DVD and digital is American Experience: McCarthy, chronicling the legacy of Joseph McCarthy’s relentless search for anyone he deemed a communist or enemy of the state. The Wisconsin Senator’s crusade is now the centerpiece of any conversation involving the government’s role in decency, democracy and ethical conduct. This witch hunt, completely free of restraint or oversight, led to the trials and imprisonment of many celebrities, Americans and immigrants. This program details the rise of McCarthy’s political life which led to his belief that there was a great conspiracy threatening America, culminating in a chilling campaign full of groundless accusations, bullying intimidation, grandiose showmanship, cruel victimization and a web of lies to keep public opinion on their side.

Due Feb. 4 on DVD and digital is Nova: Decoding da Vinci. On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, with guidance from historian Walter Isaacson, the program pulls back the curtain to investigate what led to da Vinci’s ahead of his time, legendary successes. The program examines how his scientific studies, from dissecting humans to studying optics, led to a host of brilliant inventions, such as hang gliders, armored tanks, parachutes and many others. The program further explains how this deep scientific curiosity was behind the most captivating work of art in history, The Mona Lisa.

Coming Feb. 11 on DVD and digital is Nova: The Violence Paradox. Violence is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. We see it in the news, in movies, on TV and video games so why do some experts say that violence is decreasing and that we’re living in the most peaceful time in history? The program addresses these questions and explores the intricacies of how violence permeates our life, psychology and everyday thoughts and actions. The program takes us through time and the human mind to investigate what impacts the violence rates and what people are doing now to reduce violence in the world.

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Finally, on Feb. 18 comes Nova: Animal Espionage on DVD and digital. With the technological advancements of the camera industry, experts and viewers get an intimate look at hard-to-view species behind closed doors during their everyday lives. Camera traps and drones, completely hidden from the animal’s view, allow viewers to get closer than ever before to animals such as whales, tigers and elusive giant armadillos. The recordings featured on this program capture everything from the unexpected to the comical.

 

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation

DVD REVIEW:

PBS;
Documentary;
$24.99 DVD;
Not rated.

Depending on your own history and experience from 1969, I suppose you could make a case that the first moon shot, the release of The Wild Bunch, the Stonewall riots, the Miracle Mets or Portnoy’s Complaint defined the applicable generation just as much (and the last one possibly even several). So, certainly, did the up-front carnage of Vietnam, which isn’t the same as the war-protest subtext of even the most famous rock concert ever. But it’s hard to look at this self-limiting but very tightly constructed “American Experience” documentary about a Friday-Saturday-Sunday that proved more wildly memorable than a Weekend at Bernie’s and not be moved.

After recommendations from plural friends and relatives on my recent trip home who had caught the recent airing of Woodstock: Three Days That a Defined a Generation on PBS, I was surprised at, taking a look, the degree to which this 98-minute thumbnail overview grabbed me. Yet never underestimate the power of a doc when filmmakers (the director here is Barak Goodman) have a trove of on-the-spot archival footage on hand. This is what made it so much easier, I think for the Amy Winehouse doc (Amy) to win the feature documentary Oscar for 2015 over the equally great Nina Simone portrait (What Happened, Miss Simone?). Apparently, nearly everyone Winehouse knew, Tony Bennett aside, was from the generational peer group that recorded everything that it and she did — from a belch to something significant — on a cellphone.

In this case, I have to believe that the Three Days filmmakers culled at least their on-the-scene material (which is most of the picture) from what director Michael Wadleigh shot for his mammoth Oscar-winning documentary Woodstock. Two of that epic’s key editors — and a lot of people don’t know this — were Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, who were also the only ones of the editorial crew to receive additional credits as second unit director or assistant director — just so you know Wadleigh’s three-hour masterpiece was a pro job from the beginning. I read once that the editorial crew whittled down something like 120 hours of raw footage shot in an officially declared disaster area to get the three, but whatever the figures the editorial ratio was huge, and you can see why the picture got into theaters later than distributor Warner Bros. initially wanted. Of course, the subsequent “Director’s” and other cuts put a lot of excised musical sections back, and these versions are the only ones available on DVD or Blu-ray. This is regrettable because if there’s someone out there who thinks the additions improved what had been one of the fastest-moving three-hour movies ever, I’ve yet to meet him.

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ANYway. This still left a lot of non-musical footage with which to tinker, and what we see here almost has to have come from solid gold nuggets from the original cutting-room floor, given the number of times I spotted fleeting passages of footage that replicate exactly what’s seen in the Wadleigh epic. This you-are-there aspect helps shape what turns out to be not a very psychological or intellectualized look at a watershed event after 50 years, and this leaves Three Days open to some criticism. But if you want to know the step-by-step process on how an event of this magnitude got underway when its producers hadn’t a clue of what they’d gotten into, this is your baby.

We see the genesis of the project and how it was originally sold (and, on a certain level, even conceived) as a music/arts festival in Wallkill, N.Y.; you can just see the town fathers being led to expect a combination of mammoth quilt displays plus maybe kiosks selling bulk quinoa and almonds as Pentangle performed on stage. Eventually, the powers of Wallkill feared grass-kill and a lot worse, spurring a festival move to Bethel, N.Y., where politically conservative local farmer Max Yasgur eventually allowed his land to be used. Which was fine because the setting had some slope, also adjacent foliage and certainly a lot more romance than a previous default site had had (we see both, and there’s no comparison). We can see that the promoters were competent to a point but in way over their heads as they tried to calculate how much food, security, construction time (a big one) and portable toilets were needed. Off the last, the estimate was give or take enough to service every extra in D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance — times infinity.

The invaluable visuals help us feel the August chill factor when it’s the Monday before the Friday opener and we can see that the pitifully understaffed construction crews are working on, well, something that looks like a stage (and lets’s not forget the light tower, massive electrical needs and so on). As one of the voiceover parties recalls, everything was in great shape — for a concert launching in November. And to answer the question of whether anyone was really going to come to this thing (blockbuster talent or not), we see footage of a few early patrons showing up a week ahead of time to carve out a plot of grass to along with the grass in their pockets. At this point, Mrs. Yasgur noticed that the security fence wasn’t at the point where it could keep out The Little Rascals, which sent a signal to her that this might not be an un-free concert for very long.

At this point, chaos. There was time and crew to finish construction of one component, and someone figured that having a completed stage might be a good idea. Even the performers couldn’t finesse freeways that were now crowded parking lots, so the Hog Farm (already provider of food, soft-soap security and endearing spokesperson Hugh “Wavy Gravy” Romney, seen prominently in the Wadleigh film and returning here) chartered air transportation. Richie Havens was supposed to appear later in the show but arrived first, so he was shoved on stage for a partly improvised set that worked. Medics had to volunteer services (a fascinating printed rundown list of afflictions we see includes 11 rat bites). The army had to air-drop food. Gov. Nelson Rockefeller toyed with but finally didn’t send in the National Guard when he might have; this was before Kent State took some of the steam of gun-happy governors (though Rocky would have his chance almost exactly two years later at the Attica Riots). Meanwhile, the adult locals remained by and large cool.

It’s a whale of a story even beyond the saga’s two most remembered byproducts: mud and skinny-dipping (one presumably goes with the other), and we get a reprise of them here. Key participants and many attendees are interviewed but only off-camera, which is sometimes a loss; I, for one, would like to see what Hugh Romney looks like today (probably not like George). In particular, the now senior female concertgoers seem to have the same starry-eyed takeaway from the event as they might have had 50 years ago, considering how they still gush — though it is encouraging to hear women my age sounding as if they might still be into Free Love.

There is, of course, still a lot of generational self-congratulation about the way Woodstock proved that upwards of 350,000 attendees could take over a town, clog the roads so that Lassie couldn’t even wiggle in, depend on military and volunteer assistance, also a free breakfast from the Hog Farm plus community tolerance — and still think it was providing a model for a way to live. Ultimately, however, let someone else be a spoil; are you going to dissect the bad points of the most memorable weekend you ever lived, no matter what it was? And that overhead helicopter views of the crowd — the one that ended Wadleigh’s doc for one of the most exciting shots I’ve ever seen in any movie — gets a reprise here and hasn’t lost a thing in terms of imagination fodder for dreamy thoughts about life’s possibilities. With or without an appearance by Sha-Na-Na.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation’ and ‘Easy Living’

New Seasons of ‘Masterpiece’ Series ‘Grantchester’ and ‘Endeavor,’ ‘American Experience’ and Other Franchises Coming on Disc and Digital From PBS in July

Season six of “Endeavor” and season four of “Grantchester” from the “Masterpiece” franchise, as well as productions from “American Experience,” “American Masters,” “Nova” and “Frontline” are on the July disc and digital slate from PBS Distribution.

Endeavor: Season 6 debuts July 9 on DVD, Blu-ray and digital. Shaun Evans sports a new look as DS Endeavour Morse in the sixth season of the detective drama, the prequel to the long-running “Inspector Morse” series.  His character faces new challenges, with Morse having started a new role as a uniformed officer at the Woodstock police department and embracing the fashion of the period by growing a moustache. Alongside Evans, the new series sees stage and screen actor Roger Allam return as DI Fred Thursday, alongside Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn, Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday, Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil and Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday. Following the dissolution of the Oxford City Police and the merging with Thames Valley Constabulary at the end of the last series, the new series picks up with the team dispersed as they find their feet in their various new roles. However, despite their separation, the tragic murder of DC George Fancy still hangs over them both collectively and individually, with the case remaining unresolved.

Due July 30 is Grantchester: Season 4 on DVD, Blu-ray and digital. The series returns with a new vicar. Tom Brittney (OutlanderCall the Midwife) joins the cast as Reverend Will Davenport — man of the people and crime-solving partner to Robson Green’s Geordie Keating in 1950s Grantchester. James Norton, who plays the charismatic, jazz-loving clergyman Sidney Chambers, makes his final appearance during the series. Confident, caring and enigmatic, Grantchester’s new young parish priest channels his boundless energy into a quest for social justice. He is a man of God, but with the devil inside of him. As Geordie draws him into righting the wrongs of criminal Cambridge, Will’s own troubled past is unearthed.

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July 9 comes American Experience: Chasing the Moon on DVD, Blu-ray and digital. This July marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, and the program thoroughly reimagines the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort. The three-part series recasts the Space Age as a stew of scientific innovation and PR savvy, political calculation and media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama. With no narration and using only archival footage — including lost or overlooked material — the film features new interviews with a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events. Among those included are astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Poppy Northcutt, the 25-year-old “mathematics whiz” who gained worldwide attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male bastion of NASA’s Mission Control, among others. Chasing the Moon relates how the drive to land a man on the moon was fueled as much by politics as it was by technology and was a controversial undertaking during a volatile time.

Coming July 16 on DVD and digital from the “American Masters” franchise is Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices. Viewers trace the improbable journey of Shaw’s life and career, from his childhood as a preacher’s son in rural California through his meteoric rise as a star of popular music during the Great Depression. Soon, Shaw made another highly implausible move to classical music where he again achieved stunning success. He founded the groundbreaking Collegiate Chorale, and led choruses for legendary orchestra conductors, including Arturo Toscanini. An early champion of civil rights, his chorales were among the first to break the color barrier in the American South. Shaw performed the music of Bach in the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, brought audiences to tears in East Berlin in the darkest days of the Cold War. Shaw believed great music could have a profound influence, whether in individual lives or in bringing communities together. Shaw’s eventful journey is brought to life by interviews with legendary musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Sylvia McNair, Alice Parker, Marietta Simpson and Florence Kopleff, among others. Family members, admirers, and friends include President Jimmy Carter and Ambassador Andrew Young. The production is narrated by David Hyde Pierce.

Four programs are coming in July on DVD and digital from the “Frontline” series.

Available now is The Abortion Divide, which offers a window into the sometimes difficult and deeply personal choices women face with unplanned pregnancy — and examines the steadfast belief of the anti-abortion community that there should be no choice at all.  With intimate access, the film follows women struggling with unplanned pregnancies, doctors and nurses who provide abortions, as well as those who counsel women against the procedure.

Coming July 9 is The Last Survivors, which follows men and women who as young children lived through the Holocaust. Now, over 70 years after World War II, the program speaks with some of the last remaining survivors of the tragedy. Drawing on intimate interviews with victims and family members, director Arthur Cary presents a haunting look at how disturbing childhood experiences and unimaginable loss have impacted the daily lives and relationships of survivors — from survivor’s guilt, to crisis of faith, to second-generation trauma.

Also on tap July 9 is Trump’s Trade War. President Donald Trump’s decision to put tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports last year shocked the world — and launched a perilous confrontation between the world’s two largest economic superpowers. The program takes viewers to locations both in the United States and China, drawing on business and government insider accounts to offer a look at the increasingly competitive rivalry between the two countries — a rivalry that extends well beyond just trade and tariffs.

Supreme Revenge, due July 30, chronicles the bitter, partisan battle that played out during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. It reflected deep divisions in Washington that may seem unique to America’s current political and social moment, but as the investigation reveals, the intense politicization on display during the Supreme Court confirmation process — and the transformation of the Court itself — has been a shift decades in the making.

Four programs are coming from “Nova” on DVD and digital in July.

First Horse Warriors, due July 16, investigates the advent of horse riding, a momentous step in human history. Horses vastly expanded long-distance travel and trade, made the herding of other livestock possible, and led to the rise of formidable mounted warriors who changed the fate of nations. But when and how did our ancestors first learn to master these animals? The program unlocks the mystery on the grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where wild horses still roam free, and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life. Investigating clues from archaeology and genetics, researchers reveal vivid evidence of the very first horsemen.

Also coming July 16 is Saving the Dead Sea, exploring salt-encrusted shores that were the backdrop of Old Testament drama and the source of Cleopatra’s beauty treatments. But the Dead Sea is dying. Since 1976, its level has dropped more than 100 feet. Its coastline is pockmarked with thousands of sinkholes. After more than a decade of research and debate, scientists, engineers and political leaders have come up with a plan: connect the Red Sea with the Dead Sea by way of a massive desalination plant. If it’s successful, the project could not only revive the sea but also help ease political tensions and water shortages in the region. NOVA follows what is perhaps the world’s largest water chemistry experiment as scientists and engineers race to save the Dead Sea and bring water to one of the driest regions on Earth.

Coming July 30 is Inside the Megafire, about the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. As residents raced to evacuate, the Camp Fire devoured 150,000 acres and claimed 86 lives. How did it get so big so fast? Why are megafires like these becoming more common? “Nova” goes to the front lines of the deadliest fires of California’s 2018 fire season to hear from the people who had to flee and from the scientists racing to understand what’s behind these record-breaking infernos. Researchers take to the forest, and even a fire lab, to understand the increasing megafire threat.

Also due July 30 from “Nova” is Back to the Moon. On the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic moon landing, Nova looks ahead to the hoped-for dawn of a new age in space travel. This time, governments and private industry are sharing the work of reaching our nearest celestial neighbor. But why go back? The reasons are varied. The Moon can serve as a platform for basic astronomical research, as an abundant source of precious materials like rare metals and hydrogen fuel, and ultimately as a stepping stone for human missions to Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and beyond.

‘Frontline’ Series ‘Documenting Hate, ‘American Experience: The Swamp’ Due on Digital and DVD Feb. 12 From PBS

PBS Distribution is releasing two documentaries, Frontline: Documenting Hate and American Experience: The Swamp, on digital and DVD Feb. 12.

Frontline: Documenting Hate is a two-part investigation into today’s white supremacy groups in the United States. In the first part, “Charlottesville,” correspondent A.C. Thompson tracks down some of those at the center of the infamous and deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., revealing that one participant in the violence was an active-duty Marine, and the other worked for a major defense contractor and held a U.S. government security clearance. This part also shows just how ill-prepared law enforcement was to handle an influx of white supremacists from across the country, some of whom had been part of a series of earlier violent confrontations in California and descended on Charlottesville specifically to fight. The second part, “New American Nazis,” presents a new investigation into white supremacist groups in America, in particular a neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division, that has actively recruited inside the U.S. Military. This joint investigation documents the group’s terrorist objectives, examines how civilian and military authorities have responded, and shows how the group gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally.

Also due on digital and DVD Feb. 12 is American Experience: The Swamp. Told through the eccentric lives of hucksters, politicians and activists, the documentary explores the Florida Everglades, which has some of natures’ most mysterious and unique ecosystems. The program is based, in part, on the book The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida and the Politics of Paradise by Michael Grunwald.

PBS Documentary ‘American Experience: The Circus’ Due on Digital Oct. 9, DVD Nov. 6

The PBS Distribution documentary American Experience: The Circus will come out on digital Oct. 9 on iTunes and on DVD Nov. 6.

The four-hour, two-part program explores the history of this distinctly American form of entertainment, where young women could become lion tamers and young men traveled the world as roustabouts. Drawing upon a vast visual archive, and featuring a host of performers, historians and aficionados, The Circus brings to life an era when Circus Day would shut down a town and its stars were among the most famous people in the country.

Part One starts with the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century in Philadelphia when the circus met the disapproval of the religious. In a society that valued sobriety and hard work, peering at half-naked aerialists amid shifty circus workers was frowned upon. Soon, circuses began to add elaborate menageries of exotic animals including lions, hippos and elephants, and “human oddities” from across the globe — rebranding themselves as “educational” experiences to concerned communities. Once the infamous showman and huckster P. T. Barnum transformed the trade in 1871, he and his partners created the largest touring show in existence.

Part Two follows James Bailey as he takes his circus to Europe on a five-year tour. Upon returning the circus tour to the U.S. the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey merged, creating a moving town of more than 1,100 people, 735 horses, nearly 1,000 other animals and 28 tents.

Featured were some of the most storied circus performers in history, including the famed aerialist Lillian Leitzel; May Worth, who stunned audiences by somersaulting on horseback; and big cat trainer Mabel Stark. In an era when women were still fighting for the right to vote, women circus performers stepped to the forefront of the suffrage movement.