Downloads: Media Alert
Documentary fans will have the opportunity to see award-winning POV films again — or discover them for the first time — in a new monthly online series. Groundbreaking documentaries from POV’s 21 seasons on PBS can now be seen in their entirety for a limited time on the series’ Webby Award-winning website, www.pbs.org/pov. Among the films on view are American Aloha and My American Girls, at www.pbs.org/pov/videos.html. In March, POV will stream Sweet Old Song in honor of the centennial of the late Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong.
American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i, by Lisette Marie Flanary and Evann Siebens, premiered on POV in 2003 as part of its Diverse Voices Project and can be seen online until March 7, 2009. For Hawaiians, the hula is not just a dance, but a way of life. While most Americans know only the stereotypes of grass skirts and coconut bras, the hula is a living tradition reflecting the rich history and spirituality of Hawai’i through music, language and dance. American Aloha discovers a renaissance in California by following three master hula teachers. Revealing the survival of Hawai’i’s indigenous culture from near-destruction, the film is a reminder of the power of reclaiming tradition. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) co-presentation.
Celebrating Dominican Independence Day on Feb. 27, POV is currently streaming Aaron Matthews’ My American Girls until April 2. In vivid verite detail, the 2001 film chronicles the joys and struggles over a year in the lives of the Ortiz family, first-generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Following the hard-working parents who imagine retiring to their rural homeland and their fast-tracking American-born daughters, the film captures the rewards — and costs — of pursuing the American dream.
From March 2-May 2, POV is proud to present Leah Mahan’s Sweet Old Song, which premiered in 2002. Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, who passed away on July 30, 2003 (one year to the day after the POV broadcast), was a performer for most of his 94 years, from the time his father carved his first fiddle from a wooden crate. At the film’s center are the two great loves of Howard’s life: his music and artist Barbara Ward, then age 60. This is the story of Armstrong and Ward’s two-decade courtship and marriage, a unique partnership that inspired an outpouring of art and music. Their creative work drew on nearly a century of African-American experience, beginning with Armstrong’s vivid stories and paintings of his childhood in a segregated town in Tennessee. As the couple took on life’s challenges, they defied our most basic assumptions about what it means to grow older. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation. For more information, go to www.pbs.org/pov/sweetoldsong.
Howard ‘Louie Bluie’ Armstrong and Barbara Ward from
Sweet Old Song.
In addition, fans can hear his music on POV’s All Howard All the Time” streaming radio station and download broadcast quality MP3s of four Armstrong songs.
In 2003, Howard was able to return to his home state of Tennessee one last time to receive the Governor’s Award in the Arts. He would have turned 100 on March 4, 2009, and Tennessee will celebrate his legacy. Sweet Old Song will screen at the Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum on Sunday, March 22 at 2 p.m., presented in partnership with Nashville Public Television and POV On June 13, Cove Lake State Park in Caryville will be the site of the all-day Louie Bluie Festival, featuring music crafts, storytelling and Sweet Old Song.