KCET Honors Women's History Month with Inspiring Documentaries in March

BURBANK, CA - Feb. 26, 2014 - KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station serving Southern and Central California, commemorates Women's History Month with several fascinating documentaries throughout March. These programs celebrate the courage, commitment and strength of influential women and their significant impact on the U.S. as well as the world.

 

No Going Back: Women and the War - Sunday, March 2 at 11 p.m.

North of the Mason-Dixon line, the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century drew increasing numbers of women out of the home and into the factories. In the agrarian, antebellum South, no such exodus occurred. Many Southerners perceived the forces of modernization - including the early rumblings of the women's suffrage movement - as a threat to their traditional way of life. However, as Fort Sumter fell in April of 1861, so too would many firmly held cultural and societal beliefs about a "woman's place." Hardships and hunger forced ill-prepared, isolated and often un-educated Southern women into the public sphere to demand relief from the government and advocate for policy changes. No Going Back: Women and the War explores how the lives of women, and their roles in society, changed during and after the Civil War. Grammy®-winning singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter narrates. Interviews with well-known historians and academics, reenactments at Civil War-era landmarks, and dramatic readings from the letters and journals of women, both free and enslaved, illuminate this fascinating chapter in American history.

Thatcher: A Memoir - Thursday, March 6 at 10 p.m.

This is a moving documentary about Britain's first and only female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.  A controversial figure whose right-wing politics, economic liberalization and bold social changes earned her the moniker "Iron Lady," Thatcher was loved and hated - often at the same time.  Through interviews with some of her closest colleagues, the next generation of politicians she inspired, and those who opposed her all through her premiership, viewers get a closer look at the remarkable and effective politician that left an indelible mark on the U.K.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m.

Following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, the 25 year-old Princess Elizabeth immediately replaced him as Head of State of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. But many months of planning were to follow before Elizabeth II's formal coronation on June 2, 1953. This fascinating documentary tells the behind the scenes story of the momentous occasion, looking at the enormous logistical operation involved and the issues that threatened to turn the whole thing into a disaster. The coronation was an event of huge cultural significance, seen as an opportune moment for the British royal family to establish the meaning of the modern monarchy - reinforcing the idea of continuity and tradition, while establishing the new reign of the young queen and her modernizing consort, the Duke of Edinburgh. By opening up the diaries and papers of those at the heart of the planning and delivery of the event, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II shows the lesser known story behind the pageantry and historical spectacle.

Women in Chemistry: Life Lessons from the Lab - Sunday, March 9 at 11 p.m.

This documentary profiles eight remarkable women who have made important contributions to the field of chemistry. The Women in Chemistry project set out to present a group of eminent women chemists in all their dimensions principally to inspire young women to consider careers in the chemical and molecular sciences.

Life Is A Banquet: The Rosalind Russell Story - Thursday, March 13 at 10 p.m.

Rosalind Russell, the star of Auntie Mame, His Girl Friday, Gypsy, and scores of other memorable films and Broadway shows, came into her own during Hollywood's Golden Era and was paired with many of the luminaries of that time, including Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, and Kirk Douglas. An advocate for those with disabilities, this unique and pioneering talent was struck with severe rheumatoid arthritis in her later years, which derailed her career. Thereafter, Russell championed the needs of millions also suffering from the disease. Whether considered for her sophisticated comedy roles or dignity under duress, her humanity shines through. Narrated by Kathleen Turner, this insightful and warm profile comes on the occasion of the approach of the 75th anniversary of her breakthrough role as Sylvia Fowler in The Women (1939) and the 55th anniversary of her most famous role as Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame (1958).  

Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence - Sunday, March 16 at 11:30 p.m. 

Florence, Italy, the cradle of the Renaissance, gave rise to some of the world's most celebrated artists, architects and scientists, including: Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and Galileo. Yet, little is known of the city's trailblazing female artists. The Emmy®-winning Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence sheds light on the lives and works of these largely forgotten Renaissance-era painters, revealing the "hidden half" of one of the world's most beloved art cities. Infrared reflectography and other high-tech equipment assists a dedicated group of artists, historians, restorers and museum executives as they remove centuries of decay and bring precious pieces of art history - salvaged from storage facilities throughout Italy - back to life. Cameras chart this painstaking process of reconstruction, restoration, preservation and conservation of two works, "Lamentation with Saints" by Plautilla Nelli (1524-1588), a cloistered nun and the first known female painter of Florence; and "David and Bathsheba," by Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653).   

Sister Wendy and the Art of the Gospel - Thursday, March 20 at 10 p.m.

Sister Wendy, all teeth, glasses and habit, burst on to our screens in the 1990s. An instant star in America and the U.K., her secret is a rare ability to tell the stories in painting, and connect us to their big emotional insights. However, she has told us nothing about her biography, the unexpected international fame, or the core of her faith. For the first time Sister Wendy looks back at her life, revealing intimate thoughts, reminiscences and self-doubt. At the same time she uses great old master paintings in the National Gallery, the Louvre and in the Fitzwilliam, and some modern paintings, to tell us the gospel stories that were once universally familiar, but are now regularly disregarded. These are the stories that inspired her life of devotion -- stories that she feels, with absolute certainty, have relevance today.

In Her Power - Sunday, March 23 at 11:30 p.m.  

Empowerment expert Helene Lerner reveals the keys to "authentic power" in a dynamic new half-hour documentary. Based on her book about personal reinvention, In Her Power encourages women to believe in themselves and pursue even their most intimidating and inconvenient dreams. The program features insights from actors including: Julianne Moore, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jane Seymour; as well as Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, and other inspiring self-made women. Lerner believes that accepting the discomfort of change helps women move through fear and uncertainty. To illustrate her points, Lerner leads a heartfelt discussion among four women who have faced distinct personal obstacles and altered the course of their lives.

We Served Too: Women's Air Force Service Pilots - Thursday, March 27, 10 p.m.

This is a story of a group of young, determined and courageous women during World War II who broke through barriers and shattered stereotypes. 

They were the first women pilots to ever fly for the United States military. However, after a nasty and aggressive campaign by male pilots who wanted the women's Air Force service pilots or WASP jobs during World War II, they were the only wartime unit that was denied military status by Congress and were sent home before the war was over and their jobs done. Because the women were denied military status, the WASP received no insurance or benefits during or after the war, and if a WASP died during training or while on a mission, their families were not allowed to put a service star in the window, nor could the WASP receive a military burial. It wasn't until the middle of the 1970s that they would be recognized as World War II veterans, and it wasn't until 2010, that the United States government would recognize those women who died during their service and the surviving WASP would receive the congressional gold medal. 

We Served Too provides a firsthand account from WASP who tell their story and discuss their experiences during the three pivotal periods that make up the WASP history. WASP experts and family members also share their personal stories and expert knowledge.


ABOUT KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.

 

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