Revered as the author of the Declaration of Independence, the most sacred document in American history, yet condemned as a lifelong owner of slaves, THOMAS JEFFERSON remains the enigma that is America. A young Thomas Jefferson from the Virginia wilderness is transformed by the fire of the Enlightened into his countrys most articulate voice for human liberty. Torn between serene family life at Monticello and his passion for politics, Jefferson suffers heartrending personal loss, even as he gives voice to a new era of democratic government. He then journeys to Paris as U.S. Minister to France for George Washington and supports the rising French Revolution. Returning from France, Jefferson strives to preserve the new, fragile American government and helps create the first political party through his bitter struggles with the Federalists. As third President of the United States, he doubles the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase, but faces controversy and scandal, finally retiring to his beloved Monticello. His last years are spent founding the University of Virginia and re-establishing his friendship with John Adams. By the end of his remarkable life, he had advanced the cause of religious, political and intellectual freedom everywhere and had changed the course of human events.
Lewis & Clark
It was the most important expedition in American history, led by two utterly different men -- the brilliant but troubled Meriwether Lewis and his friend, the outgoing and steadfast William Clark. With them, were an African-American slave; the Shoshone woman, Sacagawea; French-Canadian boatmen; a crew of young American army soldiers -- even a Newfoundland dog. Charged in 1803 with locating the mythical Northwest Passage to the Pacific, this intrepid band of explorers instead discovered a varied and breathtaking landscape and encountered a dizzying diversity of Indian peoples. Drawing from the magnificent journals and stories from Indian oral tradition, the film recreates the real-life adventure of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest of all American architects. He was an authentic American genius, a man who believed he was destined to redesign the world, creating everything anew. Over the course of his long career, Wright designed over eight hundred buildings, including such revolutionary structures as the Guggenheim Museum, the Johnson Was Building, Fallingwater, Unity Temple, and Taliesin. Wright's buildings and his ideas changed the way we live, work and see the world around us. Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural achievements were often overshadowed by the turbulence of his melodramatic life. In ninety-two years, he fathered seven children, married three times, and was almost constantly embroiled in scandal. Some hated him, some loved him, but in the end, few could deny that he was the most important architect in America -- and perhaps the world. With exquisite live cinematography, fascinating interviews, and rare archival footage, this riveting film brings Wright's unforgettable story to life.
Not For Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony
Two women. One allegiance. Together they fought for women everywhere, and their strong willpower and sheer determination still ripples through contemporary society. Here lies the story of two of our century's most celebrated pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Recount the trials, tribulations and triumphs of these two women as they strive to give birth to the women's movement. Not until their deaths was their shared vision of women's suffrage realized. A powerful historical introspective.
Samuel Clemens rose from a hardscrabble boyhood in the backwoods of Missouri to become, as Mark Twain, Americas best-known and best-loved author. Considered in his time as the funniest man on earth, Twain was also an unflinching critic of human nature who used his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed and racism. He created some of the worlds most memorable characters as well as its most quoted sayings. And, in his often-misunderstood novel Huckleberry Finn, he brought forth a masterpiece that Ernest Hemingway called the true beginning of American Literature.
This remarkable film tells the story of Twains extraordinary life full of rollicking adventure, stupendous success and crushing defeat, hilarious comedy and almost unbearable tragedy. With fascinating interviews of Hal Holbrook, Arthur Miller, William Styron and many others, the story is told primarily through the words of Twain himself, so viewers of all ages can be personally introduced to this compelling yet contradictory genius, who said with some justification, "I am not an American, I am the American."
Horatio's Drive recounts the simultaneously inspirational and hilarious saga of Horatio Nelson Jackson, an eccentric Vermont doctor, who in 1903 - on a visionary whim and a 50-dollar bet - became the first person to drive an automobile across the continent, heralding the future of the "horseless carriage" as a vehicle destined for more than inner-city travel and as a machine that would transform American life.
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, a new documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns, tells the story of the first African-American boxer to win the most coveted title in all of sports and his struggle, in and out of the ring, to live his life as a free man.
This riveting two-part documentary follows Jack Johnsons remarkable journey from his humble beginnings in Galveston, Texas, as the son of former slaves, to his entry into the brutal world of professional boxing, where, in turn-of-the century Jim Crow America, the heavyweight champion was an exclusively "white title." Despite the odds, Johnson was able to batter his way up through the professional ranks, and in 1908 he became the first African-American to earn the title Heavyweight Champion of the World. Johnsons victory set in motion a worldwide search for a Great White Hope to restore the title to the white race. And when no one could be found to beat the champion in the ring, his own government tried to destroy him in the courts, using his relationships with white women as the excuse to prosecute him. Determined to live his life regardless of the confines imposed by his color, Jack Johnson emerges as a central figure in Americas ongoing struggle to deal with the question of race.