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Acres of Skin
Films on Demand Video: Acres of Skin
Drawing comparisons to the Tuskegee syphilis atrocities, this program describes experiments performed at Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison over a period of decades, during which inmates were subjected to frequently dangerous medical procedures without their informed consent. The video explores connections between major pharmaceutical companies, an indigent and semi-literate prison population, and an ambitious dermatologist named Dr. Albert Kligman who organized and conducted tests involving nerve damage, unnecessary skin grafts, and drug-induced psychoses. The result is a provocative look at disturbing aspects of America’s penal system. (43 minutes)
Ken Burns: the Central Park Five
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.
Smartest Guys in the Room
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room tells the inside story of the spectacular rise and fall of one of the most scandal-ridden corporations in American history. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this film takes a look at the collapse of the once seventh-largest company in the United States, where executives misappropriated billions of dollars, leaving investors scrambling and ruining the life-savings of thousands of employees.
Through insider accounts and corporate recordings, the documentary follows the birth of Enron in 1985 to its zenith in 2000, becoming the largest natural gas merchant in North America. Its rise is plagued by unethical and underhanded business practices, including profiteering on the California energy crisis at the expense of the public. The company’s collapse is heralded by the extravagant and outrageous spending of its top executives, who leave the company and its employees in a sinking ship.
Films on Demand Video: Prison Dogs
Incarcerated for murder and armed robbery, hardened New York criminals learn to love again by raising puppies behind bars. In this inspirational tale, three selected prisoners battle self-doubt, anger and regret in their attempt to transform dependent pups into service dogs for injured US veterans. Bound together by fate, this uniquely vulnerable trio of puppy, prisoner and veteran come to discover the redemptive power of second chances.
Films on Demand Video: Missouri's Different Approach to Juvenile Justice
In Missouri, a different method of juvenile detention has seen surprisingly successful results, trading in orange jumpsuits and cell blocks for therapists and dorm rooms. This edition of Primetime spends a year with the hard-core offenders at Waverly Regional Youth Center and Rosa Parks Center to see how a combination of nurturing and discipline are transforming inmates into potentially productive members of society—and for half the average national cost of juvenile incarceration. Provided with a strict and stable environment for perhaps the first time in their lives, these damaged young convicts are coming to terms with their past so they can pursue a better future. (41 minutes)