documentary

Skiff Mountain Films

There are more than two million people incarcerated in the United States. Over two-thirds of them lack a high school diploma, and less than 13% have attended college.

But where nearly half of all formerly incarcerated people return to prison within three years, the students working towards associates and bachelor’s degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative, or BPI, have a recidivism rate of just 4%.


From the Civil War to the Dust Bowl and from baseball to jazz, Ken Burns documentaries have covered a range of critical events in American history and culture. Now, country music is getting the Ken Burns treatment. 

He and long-time collaborators and producers Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey spent eight years researching and making an eight-part, 16-hour documentary called Country Music, which will air in six parts beginning Sunday, Sept. 15 on GPB.


50 years ago today, Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy. A few days later, on July 20, 1969, the first two humans landed on the moon — Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Also at the launch was a film crew, documenting everything, from its preparation to mission control to the faces of the crowds witnessing the historic moment. These were mixed in with astounding footage taken by Armstrong and Aldrin, which all came together in a documentary film called Moonwalk One.


Stills from Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury

Going from punk rock to the priesthood is not a common progression. Then again, Georgia band Luxury never followed the rules.

A new film called Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury follows the Toccoa and Athens group through their brush with death and, eventually, three members becoming Eastern Orthodox priests. The documentary feature makes its Georgia premiere at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta on Wednesday, June 19 and at Ciné in Athens on Thursday, June 20.


From the mountains to the coast to the forest, Georgia is a beautiful place for spending time outdoors.  GPB journalists are celebrating that splendor with Wild Georgia, a series of in-depth reports airing this month during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Ross Terrell and Emily Jones are among those working on the series, and they stopped by On Second Thought to take their stories a little deeper.  Ross talked about Atlanta’s lush tree canopy, and Emily explained how sharks sense the world around them.

 


Courtesy of Neon

Long before Aretha Franklin became known as "The Queen of Soul," she was singing gospel in her father's church. A new documentary called "Amazing Grace" highlights the recording of her 1972 Grammy-Award winning album of the same name over two nights at a church in south Los Angeles. That footage has never been released publicly — until now. 

Alan Elliott directed the film and spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the delays in releasing the documentary. Producer Tirrell Whittley also joined the conversation. 


Courtesy of Sony Music Archives

From the Civil War to the Dust Bowl and from baseball to jazz, Ken Burns documentaries have covered a range of critical events in American history and culture. Now, country music is getting the Ken Burns treatment. 

 

He and long-time collaborators and producers Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey spent eight years researching and making an eight-part, 16-hour documentary called Country Music, which will air on PBS stations like GPB in September. GPB is a presenting partner for a preview April 1 at the Atlanta History Center and on Wednesday, April 10, at Savannah's Jepson Center.

 

 


Leighton Rowell / GPB

As Women's History Month draws to a close, On Second Thought celebrates women working for change around the world. Dining for Women, Peace is Loud and the Association of Junior Leagues International joined with Georgia Public Broadcasting for a panel called "Women as Agents of Change."

 

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke with filmmaker Abigail E. Disney, Razia Jan from the organization Razia's Ray of Hope and Elvia Raquec from Women's Justice Initiative.

 


Courtesy of AP Images

A new radio documentary will highlight the roots of gospel music during Black History Month. The four-part documentary is called "Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul," and Grammy Award-winning gospel musician, Cece Winans will host the program. 

Bob Marovich is a historian and founder of the Journal of Gospel Music. He spoke with "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott about his contributions to the project. Marovich also told how Rosetta Tharpe, Aretha Franklin and Chance the Rapper have all incorporated praise music into hip-hop and rhythm and blues.


Luis Sandoval, Simon David

An upcoming documentary aims to highlight Atlanta soul musician Lee Moses for a new era. The documentary, "Time and Place," focuses on Moses' life and the soul scene in Atlanta during the 1970s. The documentary takes its name from Moses' solo album. The album has become a staple of Southern soul despite not finding commercial success when it was released. 

 

Filmmaker Simon David stopped by "On Second Thought" to discuss the documentary and how it traces Atlanta's soul scene through those who remember it. Doris Moses, Lee Moses' widow, also joined the conversation.

 

Courtesy of Tom Roche/"Alley Pat: The Music is Recorded"

“On Second Thought” began celebrating Black History Month by learning about the man who was nicknamed the “Mouth of the South,” James “Alley Pat” Patrick. Atlantans heard the disc jockey in 1949 on the city’s first black-owned radio station, WERD. Patrick was born on Dec. 2, 1919, in Montezuma, Georgia. His radio career began in 1951 at WERD.  

In addition to hosting a radio show, Patrick was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement. He was friends with activists and leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams and Andrew Young. Patrick was also known as a bail bondsman, as he bailed out activists from jail during the 1960s.


Today we filled up on music and stories of community before Thanksgiving. We spoke with Sharon Collins, whose documentary named "The Macon Sound" premieres Nov. 20 on GPB. The documentary explores musicians like Otis Redding and Little Richard who helped make the town a destination for artists all over the country.

We also figured out how to navigate tense family holiday situations with some wisdom from author Anita Sanchez, plus heard some Thanksgiving stories from Kay Powell and Dame Wilburn.


Credit: Jekyll Island Georgia

A slave ship known as "The Wanderer" landed off Georgia's coast at Jekyll Island just 50 years after U.S. law banned the importation of slaves. Its inhumane and horrendous journey contributed to the origin story of Georgia's Gullah Geechee community.


On Second Thought For Friday, June 30, 2017

Jun 30, 2017

First, the Smithsonian Channel just launched a new series called “America in Color.” The five part program features historical film footage from the 1920s through the 1960s, presented in HD and with the addition of color. We talk about the show’s Georgia ties with the Executive Producer, John Cavanagh.

Growing Up Asian-American In The South

May 10, 2017
Matthew Hashiguchi

Asian-Americans are America’s fastest growing ethnic group. Many Asians and Pacific Islanders are settling in Georgia. But in filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi’s experience, people don't always welcome them to the South. We talked with him about his documentary, "Good Luck Soup," which is airing on ​GPB’s Knowledge channel Sunday, May 14 at 5 p.m.

A&E

Last month, the A&E Network canceled a documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan. The series, which featured Klan members in North Georgia, was scrapped because some of the people interviewed were paid to appear in it.

Jonathan Phillips

By all accounts, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre shouldn’t be around anymore. The historic movie palace, which opened Christmas Day of 1929, escaped financial ruin several times, dodged a date with a wrecking ball, and survived a potentially fatal fire. But 87 years later, the theater’s future couldn’t be brighter. To mark its anniversary, a new GPB documentary premiering Christmas night at 7 p.m. ET, tells the theater’s incredible story.

James Martin

Every cocktails in the South has its own story. Just look up the history of the mint julep or the gin fizz. A new documentary by an Atlanta filmmaker tells the story of one of the most famous cocktails to come out of the South. The film, "The New Orleans Sazerac," was shown at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week.

DrJimiGlide / Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta's Clermont Hotel closed a few years ago, but the nearly century-old building retains its status as a place where interesting and sometimes unseemly things happened. There are even a few ghost stories. A new short documentary called Hotel Clermont records the last six months of this iconic structure's life before it closed. We talk with the film's director Heather Hutson and Bill Clark, who was the hotel's last manager before it closed in 2009.