(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?

Posted on May 6, 2010

It’s that time again, indie film people. We’ve got a slate of international documentaries for the new season of Global Voices just itching to get all over your eyeballs. Global Voices was the first original series to launch on PBS WORLD three years ago, and we think it’s really hitting its stride. The season debuts on Sunday, May 9 (Happy Mother’s Day!) on PBS WORLD (check local listings) with Teacher, a lyrical new documentary by Leslie Wiener-Legrand and Nick Hector about a former drug addict in Ho Chi Minh City who is now dedicated to helping the homeless street children of that city battle HIV and AIDS.

We’re not going to lie, the lineup this season is pretty impressive. The films cover the globe from Serbia, Jordan, Romania, Armenia, Qatar, and beyond, offering viewers in the U.S. a chance to look inside the lives and hear the perspectives of people whose experiences are utterly different from their own. In a time of myriad global challenges, it can be helpful to get to know our global neighbors and rediscover our common humanity. And while there are plenty of serious sociopolitical topics covered in these films, there is also a healthy dose of humor, too. (Keep up with the series on our Global Voices Facebook page.) Watch a preview of Teacher airing this Sunday, May 9th on PBS WORLD >>      

In The Beetle, we meet Yishai Orian, an Israeli filmmaker who is the director of this charming documentary and the owner of a beloved but dilapidated Volkswagen Beetle. Orian's pregnant wife insists the old jalopy is unsuitable for their new family, so he goes on a journey to save it by finding its previous owners. Along the way, he finds that his personal story blends with the funny, sad, and touching memories of the Beetle’s previous owners. Another highlight is Carmen Meets Borat, directed by Mercedes Stalenhoef. In a small village in Romania, Stalenhoef sets out to document one teenage girl’s dream of escaping her gypsy village, but the vérité-style film grows into something much bigger than planned with the arrival of comedian and actor, Sasha Baron Cohen, there to shoot Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film is a hilarious and touching look at people with humble lives who are suddenly brought into the spotlight, exposing both the best and the worst of human nature. But there are more than 20 other great films to look forward to, so check out the program guide and set those DVRs. What’s that you say? You don’t have digital cable? No worries. The best news of all is that almost all of the films this season will be available for at least three weeks from their broadcast dates on PBS’s Video Player, for free. Yes, free. Cool, right?


From our blog

  1. ITVS Welcomes Brandii Rice as Head of Business and Legal Affairs

    August 10, 2023

    ITVS is pleased to welcome Brandii Rice as our new Head of Business and Legal Affairs. In her role Rice will oversee business and legal affairs across the ITVS brand portfolio. In addition, she will guide licensing and business strategies to support ITVS’ content development, production, distribution and audience development goals. She will join ITVS

  2. Carrie Lozano Will Lead ITVS as President & CEO, Succeeding Sally Jo Fifer

    June 7, 2023

    Carrie Lozano joins ITVS from the Sundance Institute, where she served as director of Documentary Film and Artist Programs, supporting boundary-breaking filmmakers across the globe. At ITVS, she will continue to protect independent artists’ voices, editorial control and copyright while elevating nonfiction storytelling as an essential strategy

  3. Lisa Tawil Joins the International Board of INPUT

    June 1, 2023

    Discover how Lisa Tawil's appointment to the International Board of INPUT strengthens worldwide collaboration in public media.