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242 Segments




'Central Park Five': Rape, Race And Blame Explored

A documentary airing tonight on PBS tells the story of the five young black and Latino men wrongly convicted of the 1989 assault and rape of a white female jogger in Manhattan's Central Park. Ken Burns made the film with his eldest daughter, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon.


Hunting For Secrets In 'The Shining's' Room 237.

A new documentary looks at obsessive fans of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. These fanatics look for hidden meanings in the movie, and while some of their theories sound outrageous, it's too simple to call such thinking deranged.


'Gatekeepers' Let Us Inside Israeli Security

The Oscar-nominated documentary directed by Dror Moreh is not a defense of Israeli security policy, but a critique. The six Shin Bet heads Moreh interviews may believe in the tactics they devised, but it's the overall strategy they think is flawed.


David Edelstein's Top 12 Movies of 2012

Fresh Air's movie critic does not think any masterpieces were made this year, but he does compare Daniel Day Lewis to Julius Caesar and have some choice thoughts on the movie version of Les Mis.


In China, A Persistent Thorn In The State's Side

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry follows the famous artist around the world as he repeatedly irks Chinese authorities with his art and political critiques. Fresh Air's John Powers says the documentary casts important light on the fight for greater freedom in China.


On DVD: Inside Bill Clinton's Campaign 'War Room'

The 1993 documentary The War Room, which offered a verity look behind the scenes of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, has just been released on Criterion Blue-ray and DVD. Critic-at-large John Powers explains why the film was revelatory -- and why it could never be made today.


After 'Putin's Kiss,' A Young Girl's Change Of Heart.

An absorbing new documentary by Danish director Lise Birk Pedersen charts four years in the life of Masha Drokova, who became famous as the girl who publicly kissed Vladimir Putin. Critic John Powers says it "offers a fresh glimpse into how Putin's Russia actually works."


Kevin Clash: The Man Behind Elmo.

For more than 20 years, puppeteer Kevin Clash has been the voice behind the lovable red monster on Sesame Street. Both Clash "and" Elmo talk with Terry Gross about performing with Jim Henson, and creating a fun, educational experience for preschool-aged children.


'Project Nim': Monkeying Around With A Chimp.

Documentary filmmaker James Marsh recounts the efforts of a Columbia University psychology professor to teach a chimp sign language in Project Nim. Critic David Edelstein says the brilliant documentary reveals more about humans than it does about the animal kingdom.


'Buck': A Horse Whisperer Wrangles His Dark Past

Cindy Meehl's documentary Buck tells the story of the horse trainer who overcame years of abuse to become the inspiration for the book and movie The Horse Whisperer. Critic David Edelstein says he's never seen a film that so vividly depicts the "link between a trauma and its transmutation."


Bobby Fischer: A Chess Champ 'Against The World'

Fischer, one of the greatest chess players of all time, was also a recluse who made anti-American and anti-Semitic statements and seemed increasingly lost in the depths of his own mind. Filmmaker Liz Garbus examines the life of the troubled genius in the documentary biopic, Bobby Fischer Against the World.


The Past, Always Present In The Atacama Dark.

In the splendid documentary Nostalgia for the Light, Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzman draws parallels between astronomers searching for stars in the world's driest desert and women searching for the remains of loved ones who were disappeared under the Pinochet regime.


Herzog Enters 'The Cave Of Forgotten Dreams.'

German filmmaker Werner Herzog was one of the few people permitted to enter a cave in France containing the oldest recorded cave paintings. What he saw — and what he imagined — is the subject of a new documentary, The Cave of Forgotten Dreams.


'Never Say' Justin Bieber's Not An Awesome Package

Packaged teen idol Justin Bieber is the star of a new concert documentary, Never Say Never, which follows him as he prepares for a show at Madison Square Garden. Film critic David Edelstein says the film is an "expertly engineered promo" that can make little girls — and Bieber's marketing team — scream with delight.


Flicks, Picked: Best And Worst Films Of 2010

Fresh Air's David Edelstein couldn't limit himself to 10 movies for his Top 10 list -- he put 12 titles on this year's crop -- and explains why he parted ways with colleagues when it came time to hand out the annual New York Film Critics Circle Awards.


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