ITVS and public television’s WORLD Channel will host the exclusive U.S. broadcast premieres of six new documentaries as well as two that have previously aired as part of its “Why Poverty?” series this month. The one-hour docs will air in pairs back-to-back between November 26th and 29th, with each available to watch online the next day on PBS.org. The series is a transmedia efford done in partnership with Danish nonprofit STEPS, and will include 30 onine shorts as well as the 8 docs being simultaneously broadcast on five continent this November. Check out the line-up below (descriptions courtesy of ITVS).
Give Us the Money
Monday, November 26 at 7pm ET, 6pm CT, 9pm PT
How do you change the world? From Live Aid to Make Poverty History, celebrities have become activists against poverty. Bob Geldof and Bono have been the most prominent voices advocating on behalf of the poor. But have the concerts and campaigns really lifted millions out of poverty? Geldof, Bono and Bill Gates speak candidly about how to lobby effectively and how to play to politicians’ weaknesses for glitz and popularity. Director Bosse Lindquist; Producer David Herdies. Produced by Momento Film.
Monday, November 26 at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, 10pm PT
How much profit is fair? Rüschlikon is a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents. But it receives more tax revenue than it can use. This is largely thanks to one resident -Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia are not generating a large bounty tax revenue for the Zambians. Zambia has the 3rd largest copper reserves in the world, but 60% of the population live on less than $1 a day and 80% are unemployed. Based on original research into public documents, the film describes the tax system employed by multinational companies in Africa. Director Christoffer Guldbrandsen; Producer Henrik Veileborg. Produced by Guldbrandsen Films.
Poor Us: An Animated History
Tuesday, November 27 at 7pm ET, 6pm CT, 9pm PT
Do we know what poverty is? The poor may always have been with us, but attitudes towards them have changed. Beginning in the Neolithic Age, Ben Lewis’s film takes us through the changing world of poverty. You go to sleep, you dream, you become poor through the ages. And when you awake, what can you say about poverty now? There are still very poor people, to be sure, but the new poverty has more to do with inequality. Director Ben Lewis; Producers Femke Volting & Bruno Felix. Produced by Submarine.
Tuesday, November 27 at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, 10pm PT
How do you feed the world? 75% of Mali’s population are farmers, but rich, land-hungry nations like China and Saudi Arabia are leasing Mali’s land in order to turn large areas into agribusiness farms. Many Malian peasants do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. As Mali experiences a military coup, the developers are scared off – but can Mali’s farmers combat food shortages and escape poverty on their own terms? Directors Hugo Berkeley & Osvalde Lewat; Producer Eli Cane. Produced by Normal Life Pictures.
Wednesday, November 28 at 7pm ET, 6pm CT, 9pm PT
What does an education get you? In ancient times in China, education was the only way out of poverty — in recent times it has been the best way. China’s economic boom and talk of the merits of hard work have created an expectation that to study is to escape poverty. But these days China’s higher education system only leads to jobs for a few, educating a new generation to unemployment and despair. Director Weijun Chen; Producer Don Edkins. Produced by STEPS International.
Welcome to the World
Wednesday, November 28 at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, 10pm PT
Is it worse to be born poor than to die poor? 130 million babies are born each year, and not one of them decides where they’ll be born or how they’ll live. In Cambodia, you’re likely to be born to a family living on less than $1/day. In Sierra Leone chances of surviving the first year are half those of the worldwide average. Brian Hill takes a worldwide trip to meet the newest generation. In the U.S. Starr’s new baby could well be one more of 1.6 million homeless children now living in the streets. Director Brian Hill; Producer Katie Bailiff. Produced by Century Films
Thursday, November 29 at 7pm ET, 6pm CT, 9pm PT
(Previously broadcasted on Independent Lens on November 5th) Are women better at getting out of poverty than men? Rafea is the second wife of a Bedouin husband. She is selected to attend the Barefoot College in India that takes uneducated middle-aged women from poor communities and trains them to become solar engineers. The college’s 6-month program brings together women from all over the world, all learning about electrical components and soldering without being able to read, write or understand English. The film follows Rafea as she overcomes difficulties to become a solar engineer, altering her life. Directors Mona Eldaief & Jehane Noujaim; Producer Mette Heide. Produced by Plus Pictures
Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream
Thursday, November 29 at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, 10pm PT
(Previously broadcasted on Independent Lens on November 12h) How much inequality is too much? 740 Park Ave, New York City, is home to some of the wealthiest Americans. Across the Harlem River, 10 minutes to the north, is the other Park Avenue in South Bronx, where more than half the population needs food stamps and children are 20 times more likely to be killed. In the last 30 years, inequality has rocketed in the U.S. – the American Dream only applies to those with money to lobby politicians for friendly bills on Capitol Hill. Director Alex Gibney; Producer Blair Foster. Produced by Jigsaw Productions.
“Why Poverty?” includes 30 shorts ranging from one to five minutes that are available on YouTube.