Frontline Season 2010
S2010 E01Feb 2, 2010
Digital Nation Feb 2, 2010 Over a single generation, the Web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture, transforming the way we work, learn, and connect in ways that we're only beginning to understand. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin (Growing up Online) teams up with one of the leading thinkers of the digital age, Douglas Rushkoff (The Persuaders, Merchants of Cool), to continue to explore life on the virtual frontier. The film is the product of a unique collaboration with visitors to the Digital Nation Web site, who for the past year have been able to react to the work in progress and post their own stories online. Dretzin and her team report from the front lines of digital culture--from love affairs blossoming in virtual worlds, to the thoroughly wired classrooms of the future, to military bases where the Air Force is fighting a new form of digital warfare. Along the way, they begin to map the critical ways that technology is transforming us, and what we may be learning about ourselves in the process.
S2010 E02Feb 9, 2010
Flying Cheap Feb 9, 2010 One year after the deadly airline crash of Continental 3407 in Buffalo, NY, FRONTLINE investigates the accident and discovers a dramatically changed airline industry, where regional carriers now account for half of the nation's daily departures. The rise of the regionals and arrival of low-cost carriers have been a huge boon to consumers, and the industry insists that the skies remain safe. But many insiders are worried that now, 30 years after airline deregulation, the aviation system is being stretched beyond its capacity to deliver service that is both cheap and safe.
S2010 E03Feb 23, 2010
Behind Taliban Lines Feb 23, 2010 This past fall, an Afghan video journalist negotiated extraordinary access to a part of the country that has quietly reverted back to Taliban control. For close to two weeks, the journalist traveled a region that he found was now largely under control of the Taliban "shadow" government. He also tracked members of an insurgent cell working with members of Al Qaeda on a mission to sabotage a major U.S./NATO supply route. As the new U.S. strategy focuses on the south and eastern parts of the country, this film opens up a window onto a potential new front in the north, and sheds an important light on who's fighting the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and why. Also in this hour: A report from Pakistan on the country's troubled public school system which is among the worst in the world, despite years of U.S. aid.
S2010 E04Mar 2, 2010
The Suicide Tourist Mar 2, 2010 Do we have the right to end our lives if life itself becomes unbearable, or when we enter the late-stages of painful, terminal illness? The questions, debated for centuries, have only grown more pressing in recent years as medical technology has allowed us to live longer lives, and several U.S. states have legalized physician-assisted suicide. With unique access to Dignitas, the Swiss non-profit that has helped over one thousand people die since 1998, Academy award- winning filmmaker John Zaritsky offers a revealing look at a couple facing the most difficult decision of their lives--and lets us see for ourselves as one Chicago native makes the trip to Switzerland for what will become the last day of his life.
S2010 E05Mar 30, 2010
The Quake Mar 30, 2010 On January 12, 2010, Haiti was leveled by one of the most devastating earthquakes in recorded history. Those responsible for handling the catastrophe, including the Haitian state and the United Nations, were crippled by the magnitude of the disaster and struggled to respond. In the confused aftermath, survivors were left without food, water or shelter. FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith and team arrived in Port-au-Prince within days, and in this powerful report, bears witness to the disaster and the ill-coordinated relief efforts in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Drawing on interviews with key officials and humanitarian experts from Port-au-Prince to New York, The Quake asks, can the world do better? And how?
S2010 E06Apr 13, 2010
Obama's Deal Apr 13, 2010 Health care reform was the first big policy deal taken on by the Obama administration. Many say the young president has bet the mid-term elections, possibly his presidency, on the outcome. In a new investigation FRONTLINE goes behind closed doors at the White House, in Congress and the boardrooms of the giant health-care lobby to examine the political battles and costly compromises that defined Barack Obama's endeavor. From early positive efforts, through the bitter battles with the Tea Party, the elation of apparent success at Christmas, to the crushing failure in the Massachusetts Senatorial election, FRONTLINE follows the story and reveals the first in-depth look at how the Obama administration operates. In Obama's Deal, FRONTLINE veteran producer Michael Kirk (Bush's War, Dreams of Obama, Inside the Meltdown, The Warning) provides a sobering expose' of the realities of American politics, the power of special interest groups, and the role of money in policy making.
S2010 E07Apr 20, 2010
The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan Apr 20, 2010 In Afghanistan today, in the midst of war and endemic poverty, an ancient tradition ? banned when the Taliban were in power ? has re-emerged across the country. It?s called Bacha Bazi, translated literally as ?boy play.? Hundreds of boys, some as young as 11, street orphans or boys bought from poor families by former warlords and powerful businessmen, are dressed in women?s clothes, taught to sing and dance for the entertainment of male audiences and then sold to the highest bidder or traded among the men for sex. With remarkable access inside a Bacha Bazi ring operating in northern Afghanistan, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi investigates this practice, still illegal under Afghan law, talking with the boys, their families and their masters, exposing the sexual abuse and even murders of the boys, and documenting how Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice.
S2010 E08Apr 27, 2010
The Vaccine War Apr 27, 2010 Public health scientists and clinicians tout vaccines as one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine. But for many ordinary Americans vaccines have become controversial. Young parents are concerned at the sheer number of shots -- some 26 inoculations for 14 different diseases by age 6 -- and follow alternative vaccination schedules advocated by gurus like Dr. Robert Sears. Other parents go further. In communities like Ashland, Oregon, up to one-third of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids at all. And some advocacy groups, like Generation Rescue, argue that vaccines are no longer a public health miracle but a scourge; they view vaccines as responsible for alarming rises in certain disorders, including ADHD and autism. This is the vaccine war: On one side sits scientific medicine and the public health establishment; on the other a populist coalition of parents, celebrities (like Jenny McCarthy), politicians and activists. It's a war that increasingly takes place on the Internet with both sides using the latest social media tools, including Facebook and Twitter, to win the hearts and minds of the public.
S2010 E09May 4, 2010
College, Inc. May 4, 2010 The business of higher education is booming. It's a $400 billion industry fueled by taxpayer money. But what are students getting out of the deal? Critics say a worthless degree and a mountain of debt. Investors insist they're innovators, widening access to education. FRONTLINE follows the money to uncover how Wall Street and a new breed of for-profit universities are transforming the way we think about college in America.
S2010 E10May 18, 2010
The Wounded Platoon May 18, 2010 Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs have tripled. At least thirty-six servicemen based at the nearby Army post of Fort Carson have committed suicide. And fourteen Fort Carson soldiers have been charged or convicted in at least eleven killings. Many of the most violent crimes involved men who had served in the same battalion in Iraq. Three of them came from a single platoon of infantrymen. FRONTLINE tells the dark tale of the men of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st battalion of the 506th infantry; and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army's mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers.
S2010 E11Aug 25, 2010
Law & Disorder Aug 25, 2010 Behind the enduring images of heroic rescues undertaken by the New Orleans Police Department in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there is another story of law enforcement in crisis, even out of control. Law & Disorder a year-long, ongoing collaboration among FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, investigates charges that NOPD officers inappropriately used lethal force against New Orleans citizens and then tried to cover up their actions. Airing days before the fifth anniversary of one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history and drawing from reports published in a real-time online investigation, FRONTLINE takes a fresh look at how the NOPD performed when the rules of civilized society collapsed.
Death By Fire Did Texas execute an innocent man? FRONTLINE investigates the case of Todd Willingham.
S2010 E12Oct 19, 2010
Death by Fire Oct 19, 2010 Did Texas execute an innocent man? Several controversial death penalty cases are currently under examination in Texas and in other states, but it's the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham -- convicted for the arson deaths of his three young children -- that's now at the center of the national debate. With unique access to those closest to the case, FRONTLINE examines the Willingham conviction in light of new science that raises doubts about whether the fire at the center of the case was really arson at all. The film meticulously examines the evidence used to convict Willingham, provides an in-depth portrait of those most impacted by the case, and explores the explosive implications of the execution of a possibly innocent man.
S2010 E13Oct 26, 2010
The Spill Oct 26, 2010 Long before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf, BP was widely viewed as a company that valued deal-making and savvy marketing over safety, a "serial environmental criminal" that left behind a long trail of problems -- deadly accidents, disastrous spills, countless safety violations -- which many now believe should have triggered action by federal regulators. Could the spill have been prevented? Through interviews with current and former employees and executives, government regulators, and safety experts, FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith joins with the investigative non-profit ProPublica to examine the trail that led to the disaster in the Gulf. From BP's vast oil fields in Alaska to its refineries in Texas and its trading rooms in New York and London, the film raises new questions about whether BP's corporate culture will finally be forced to change.
S2010 E14Nov 9, 2010
The Confessions Nov 9, 2010 Why would four innocent men confess to a brutal crime they didn't commit? FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel (Innocence Lost, An Ordinary Crime) investigates the conviction of four Navy sailors for the rape and murder of a Norfolk, Virginia, woman in 1997. In interviews with the sailors, Bikel learns of some of the high-pressure police interrogation techniques, including the threat of the death penalty, sleep deprivation, and intimidation, that led each of the "Norfolk Four" to confess, despite any evidence linking them to the crime. All four sailors are now out of prison -- one served his sentence and the other three were granted conditional pardons last summer -- but the men were not exonerated as felons or sex offenders. The case raises disturbing questions about the actions of the police and prosecutors, who relied on the sailors' often contradictory confessions for their convictions, and disregarded DNA evidence that pointed to a lone assailant who would later confess to the crime himself while serving prison time for another rape.
S2010 E15Nov 23, 2010
Facing Death Nov 23, 2010 How far would you go to sustain the life of someone you love, or your own? When the moment comes, and you're confronted with the prospect of "pulling the plug," do you know how you'll respond? Unfounded rumors of federal "death panels" grabbed headlines last summer, but the real decisions of how we die -- the questions that most of us prefer to put off -- are being made quietly behind closed doors, increasingly on the floors of America's intensive care units. In this film, FRONTLINE gains access to the ICU of one of New York's biggest hospitals to examine the complicated reality of today's modern, medicalized death. Here, we find doctors and nurses struggling to guide families through the maze of end-of-life choices they now confront: whether to pull feeding and breathing tubes, when to perform expensive surgeries and therapies or to call for hospice. The film also offers an unusually intimate portrait of patients facing the prospect of dying in ways that they might never have wanted or imagined.