Human Interest

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An inspiring story of teens using cameras to make a difference in their community, Katrina Sisters, a DCTV documentary, captures the intimate behind-the-scenes story of four youth filmmakers.

Winner of the National Emmy®, this milestone cinema-verité documentary tells the stories of six "ordinary" people who live or work along New York City's Third Avenue, which runs for sixteen miles through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, cutting through the complex social strata of the city to reveal wildly different economic and ethnic subcultures.

The subjects speak for themselves, offering candid glimpses into the disparate worlds of a junkyard dealer who steals cars, a Bowery bum and the wife he abandoned, a welfare mother living in a burnt-out building with her five children, a male prostitute, a God-fearing Puerto Rican factory worker, and an aging Italian barber and his wife.

Calling it "a triumph of its kind and a guidepost to a new age of television," The Washington Post raved, "This program is essentially about whatever it is that makes people stand up and curse and dare anybody to trample them again."

Filmed over 24 years in Porcupine, South Dakota, The Last Cowboy follows Vern Sager, a real American cowboy, the kind that inspired songs and campfire legends. Vern faces an army of adversaries: cattle rustlers, international agribusiness, old age, the weather, and the wanderlust of his own family.

The Sagers own a ranch on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the middle of the poorest county in America. The unemployment rate is 80%. In recent years, the "big city" of Gordon, Nebraska (population 2,175) has lured most of Porcupine’s youth away from ranch-life with the promise of jobs, minimarts, and paved streets. Twenty years ago, 90% of the Sager clan earned their living off the land - only 5% farm or ranch today.

This is Jon Alpert's documentary portrait of his father's struggles with aging and failing health.

“My dad was a businessman, a jazz bandleader, a navy pilot - and a great dad. He taught us never to quit. For ten years, he has been suffering from a nerve disease. The pain is unbearable. There is no cure. Every day is a struggle between life and death. Now my father says he wants to kill himself. I made this film as a tribute to my father and to all those who struggle through ‘the golden years,’ because I love my father. He is my hero. I hope it will help any family that has to cope with an aging or disabled parent” — Jon Alpert.

It premiered on Cinemax on Father's Day, 2002.

Winner of the National Emmy®, this milestone cinema-verité documentary tells the stories of six "ordinary" people who live or work along New York City's Third Avenue, which runs for sixteen miles through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, cutting through the complex social strata of the city to reveal wildly different economic and ethnic subcultures.

The subjects speak for themselves, offering candid glimpses into the disparate worlds of a junkyard dealer who steals cars, a Bowery bum and the wife he abandoned, a welfare mother living in a burnt-out building with her five children, a male prostitute, a God-fearing Puerto Rican factory worker, and an aging Italian barber and his wife.

Calling it "a triumph of its kind and a guidepost to a new age of television," The Washington Post raved, "This program is essentially about whatever it is that makes people stand up and curse and dare anybody to trample them again."

This is Jon Alpert's documentary portrait of his father's struggles with aging and failing health.

“My dad was a businessman, a jazz bandleader, a navy pilot - and a great dad. He taught us never to quit. For ten years, he has been suffering from a nerve disease. The pain is unbearable. There is no cure. Every day is a struggle between life and death. Now my father says he wants to kill himself. I made this film as a tribute to my father and to all those who struggle through ‘the golden years,’ because I love my father. He is my hero. I hope it will help any family that has to cope with an aging or disabled parent” — Jon Alpert.

It premiered on Cinemax on Father's Day, 2002.

Filmed over 24 years in Porcupine, South Dakota, The Last Cowboy follows Vern Sager, a real American cowboy, the kind that inspired songs and campfire legends. Vern faces an army of adversaries: cattle rustlers, international agribusiness, old age, the weather, and the wanderlust of his own family.

The Sagers own a ranch on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the middle of the poorest county in America. The unemployment rate is 80%. In recent years, the "big city" of Gordon, Nebraska (population 2,175) has lured most of Porcupine’s youth away from ranch-life with the promise of jobs, minimarts, and paved streets. Twenty years ago, 90% of the Sager clan earned their living off the land - only 5% farm or ranch today.

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