(BLOOMINGTON) – The finale of 2019 fast approaches, WTIU Public Television has found it a pleasure and a privilege to have delivered viewers yet another year of intriguing public television adventures. This month is no different.
Throughout this year, Independent Lens delivered under-the-radar documentaries that reward your attention:
ATTLA, an inspiring documentary about an indomitable athlete in an obscure sport, is no exception. Before the Iditarod became the most popular manifestation of Alaskan sled dog racing, Anchorage’s Fur Rendezvous Festival was king.
Between 1958 and 1982, George Attla finished in first place in ten of those races and came in fourth in the very first Iditarod in 1973. He wrote the book on sled dog racing — literally.
He authored Everything I Know About Training and Racing Sled Dogs, which was published in the mid-seventies. No one from the small town of Huslia could have predicted such glory from this central Alaskan kid who spent much of his childhood hospitalized from tuberculosis, robbing him of fully functional legs.
Regardless of your familiarity with the sport itself, you’ll be captivated by this uplifting story of the human spirit’s triumph.
The Coexistence Rarely does history offer stories of collaboration, tolerance and cultural achievement among differing faiths. But from the early 700s to the late 1400s, Christians, Jews and Muslims in medieval Spain forged what came to be known as La Convivencia, or “The Coexistence”.
Watch The Ornament of the World to learn more about this nearly 800-year era.
The cities of Cordoba, Seville, Toledo, and Granada take center stage.
You’ll learn about political leaders as well as poets from all three religions who worked together like never before.
You’ll see architectural achievements that still stand today as a testimony to this time of relative peace and collaboration.
Violence, persecution, and conflict did not vanish, and you’ll find out how they eventually ended La Convivencia. But by medieval European standards, the cultural interchange was unprecedented.
As one of the many scholars interviewed explains, “It was not perfect. There was tolerance rather than pluralism. But there was an openness to difference.”
For Auld Sondheim
Whether as an elegant backdrop to your New Year’s Eve festivities or a satisfying way to quietly and calmly ring in 2020, consider watching LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER — New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve 2019: Sondheim Celebration.
Alexander Gemignani conducts one of the world’s most powerful and prestigious orchestras through some of Stephen Sondheim’s orchestral works.
Highlights include suites from “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd,” and “Sunday in the Park.”
This elegant performance program will air twice on the last night of the year to increase everyone’s opportunity to experience it.
Browse through WTIU’s program schedule to find the dates and times for these programs and so many more.
As we near the end of 2019, consider helping to make quality programs like these a reality by making a financial contribution to support WTIU.