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August 25, 2006 Edition

Hitler's Sunken Secret

In 1944, fears that Hitler would be able to get a nuclear program off the ground led to the sinking of a Norwegian ferry with a cargo of “heavy water” by the Norwegian Resistance. Recently, NOVA sent an unmanned vehicle to the bottom of a lake in Norway to retrieve a barrel for testing. Is it really what wartime information said it was? If so, was the sinking of the Hydro enough to derail Hitler’s plans? Interviews with the sole remaining saboteur and with survivors from the ship, plus new research, make for chilling viewing.

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

In 1974, young heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped at gunpoint by a radical group called the Simbionese Liberation Army, which demanded a massive food program for the poor in exchange for her return. For a year and a half, Patty (renamed Tania), remained with the group while they robbed banks, shoplifted socks, and advocated for societal change. Dramatic footage from newsreels and bank security cameras, plus interviews with journalists and remaining SLA members (but not, unfortunately, Patty), and lots of extras make this a valuable historical documentary.

The Battle History of the United States Military

This 5-part series covers almost all the branches of the military from their inceptions as American forces to the present. Each disc features interviews with soldiers and officers, commentary by historians, and documentary footage of troops in battle, making this prime viewing for military history buffs.

Double Dare

Jeannie Epper and Zoe Bell aren’t names most people recognize, but the vast majority of TV-viewers know their personas: Epper was Wonder Woman’s stunt double, and Bell doubled for Lucy Lawless on Xena and has won awards for her stunt work in “Kill Bill.” Epper, now in her 60’s, and Bell, who is a relative newcomer, are real-life friends who support each other as they balance family and work in a male-dominated, high-energy business.

People of the Tides

Three short films, connected thematically, are collected here on one disc. In the first, Tlingit cultural historian Tommie Jimmie talks about the importance of the dugout canoe to the Tlingit, and the significance of Tlingit arts and crafts (including canoes), which are not simply material goods, but have cultural and spiritual meaning. The second and third films follow a group of young Natives who are creating their own dugout canoe under the watchful eye of Tlingit Master Carver Wayne Price. As the young men gain skills and confidence, they plan a trip in their canoe to Washington and British Columbia.

Charlie Jimmie: Growing up Tlingit

Charlie Jimmie was born in Yakutat and was raised by his parents and grandparents to hunt, fish, and live in traditional Tlingit ways. In 2004, Charlie, now an elder, visited the Haines Public Library to talk about how he grew up and what it means to him to be Tlingit.

Shipping Out

The long and often covert history of women working aboard commercial ships is brought to life here through interviews with women working as engineers, bar pilots, tug boat captains, mates, and deckhands. Though in the past many women disguised themselves as men in order to ship out, maritime academies first opened to women in 1974, and ever since then, women have been vital parts of the seafaring community.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

This expose of the Enron scandal, bolstered by insider accounts and corporate audio and videotapes and narrated by Peter Coyote, will send your blood pressure sky-high. While Enron seemed like any other company to investors and the majority of employees, insiders knew that the loose corporate philosophy was leading to personal excesses for a few and lost profits for the masses. Pair this with “The Corporation” for a truly horrific look at how to run an organization into the ground.

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