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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  December 25, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> on this edition for sunday, december 25th: a russian plane en route to syria crashes into the black sea; in our signature segment, the early history of black film pioneers; and, how insects might become the next super- food. next on "pbs newshour weekend"" >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products.
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that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thanks for joining us. searchers scoured the black sea this evening looking for survivors and wreckage from the crash of an aging russian airliner operated by the military. but all 92 people on board are feared dead, including more than sixty performers from the world famous red army choir. the tupolev-tu-154 aircraft, built in 1983, had just taken off in good weather from the black sea resort of sochi, headed for syria, when it disappeared from radar after only two minutes. russia's transport minister said all possible causes of the crash are being investigated, including terrorism.
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the plane was en route to a base in syria where the chorus was to have entertained russian troops. russian president vladimir putin went on nationwide television to declare tomorrow a national day mourning. pope francis delivered his traditional christmas message today to 40-thousand people gathered in st. peter's square. the pope called for a permanent end to the fighting in syria, and for migrants never be forgotten. he also pleaded with israelis and palestinians to put aside hate and, "write a new page of history." this is francis' fourth christmas celebration since becoming pope in 2013. security was tight following last week's terrorist truck attack in berlin. in a highly unusual move, israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu today summoned various ambassadors to reprimand their countries for voting in favor of a un security council resolution that condemned israeli settlements. according to israeli news reports, netanyahu also ordered israeli diplomats to suspend contacts with these nations until president-elect trump takes office. the controversial resolution passed friday only after the united states abstained instead
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of using its veto power. netanyahu also summoned u.s. ambassador dan shapiro for a meeting late tonight. at his cabinet meeting, netanyahu denounced the security council vote. >> over decades, american administrations and israeli governments have disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the security council was not the place to resolve this issue. we knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away. >> sreenivasan: the democratic party calls president-elect donald trump's move to close his namesake foundation before taking office a, "wilted fig leaf." in a statement the democratic national committee said," shuttering a charity is no substitute for divesting from the foundation has come under scrutiny by the new york attorney general's office, which ordered it to stop soliciting donations in new york in october. a spokesperson for the state attorney general said its investigation is ongoing, and the charity cannot be legally dissolved until the probe is
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complete. we've officially entered the awards season, with the nominations announced for the golden globes and the screen actors guild earlier this month. among those nominated are black filmmakers, actors and films dealing with issues facing the black community. director barry jenkins' film" moonlight," actor denzel washington in "fences," and the historical film "loving" about an interracial couple to name a few. these films are part of a lineage that's largely unknown, dating back 100 years ago, to the beginning of american cinema. special correspondent karla murthy reports on the effort to bring that history to light. >> reporter: in the early part of 20th century, with racial segregation still in place in much of the u.s., black filmmakers made movies for black audiences, outside the white hollywood mainstream. they produced around 500 so-
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called "race films," but most are lost to history. to preserve america's first" independent" cinema, this year, the company kino lorber released a five disc collection combining 20 hours of these films called the pioneers of african-american cinema. the collection of 16 feature films and shorts-- mainly from the 1920s and 30s-- includes comedies, dramas, and documentaries. they not only starred black actors, the films were often written, directed, and produced by african-americans. executive producer paul miller, a musician also known as dj spooky, raised money for the project initially through a kickstarter campaign. >> we helped them raise a little bit under maybe $100,000 just, you know, in like a week and some change. and i love to think of it as a
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festival in a box. >> reporter: so "the new york times" called this project-- this is what it said about it, en a more significant videovera release than pioneers of african so why is this collection so significant? >> well, the interesting thing about american history is we have what i call selective amnesia. and americans love to forget. like, people, what korean war? did we ever occupy the philippines? so putting the box set together was kind of a situation of reclaiming these hidden histories of very positive, and pro what i call multicultural visions of this history of american cinema, which is usually again very white white- washed. >> reporter: how revolutionary was it at that time that these films were actually able to get made and seen? >> you've got to remember it was incredible that african- americans saw themselves on the screen. usually most portrayals of african-americans in the larger white culture were meant to be very derogatory. so by reclaiming that space in the culture you could show positive images of black people outside of the white context. >> reporter: miller says
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mainstream movies portrayed african-americans-- often by whites in black face-- as unintelligent and bumbling, or evil, dangerous villains. by contrast, in the african- american-made race films, black characters often were heroic, intelligent, and romantic. teachers, detectives, pilots, cowboys-- roles hollywood reserved for whites. take the earliest film in the box set, the 1915 slapstick comedy called "two knights of vaudeville." in the 11-minute short, the two main characters find theater tickets and end up in the best seats in the house, which would have been for whites. >> at that time, it must have been shocking and wild. and it must have also been very tickling to the audience. and people must have thought it was hilarious. so, it was a real treasure to find that one. >> reporter: "the blood of jesus," from 1941, is a deeply religious film about a woman on her deathbed who's having a crisis of faith. shot on location in texas, it
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was written and directed by spencer williams, who also starred in the film. "the blood of jesus" was one of the most successful race movies ever made and was added to the national film registry at the library of congress in 1991. so was that kind of film just nonexistent at the time? >> those kinds of portrayals of african-americans within the context of spirituality and within the context of a positive image of community and religiosity, they weren't around. >> reporter: the set also contains nine films by director oscar micheaux, a one-time pullman train porter turned self-taught, prolific, filmmaker. >> oscar micheaux was mostly considered to be the foundation dna of african american cinema, because again he was independent. he dealt with topics and themes that were directly related to black experiences and with a powerful statement. >> reporter: micheaux tackled issues like racism, lynchings, interracial relationships, and poverty from a black perspective. his films were often a direct response to the earlier,
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monumental film by d.w. griffith, "the birth of nation," which negatively portrayed blacks and glorified the ku klux klan. by contrast, micheaux's "within our gates," from 1920, the earliest surviving feature film directed by an african-american, the heroine is a mixed race woman named sylvia, who goes to the north to raise money for a school for poor black children in the south. >> in "within our gates," the mixed race character really is viewed as a warm, and supportive person. in "birth of a nation," a mixed race person is viewed as betraying both races. the mulatto, the mixed race person. they're fooling the whites, and they're using the blacks. and the idea of being biracial or multiracial was viewed as kind of a disruption of the established order. >> reporter: what kind of role do you see the films in this collection playing, in america today within this context? >> i think post-2016 election, we really need to all take some perspective about racial
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politics and the anxiety of different segments of the population about being left behind, or lower income whites who one could argue the election was about their economic anxieties. on the other hand, with african- american culture, after seeing an eight years of an african- american president, we also need to understand that there's been a long history of positive images of african-americans. so the box set is more important than ever precisely because it looks at the archive. and many of these films were lost. many of these films were difficult to find. and by restoring them, and putting them in a boxset, one place, one stop shop, i think it gives people a powerful tool to look at the history of cinema, again not just african-american, but overall. >> if you're looking for book suggestions this holiday season, the newshour staff has made a list of 31 must-reads. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: just this past week a united nations report highlighted that 2016 was the
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deadliest year for migrants crossing the mediterranean. more than five thousand migrants have died this year trying to make the crossing from the middle east and north africa to europe. even for those who do make it, many are not welcomed with open arms but instead viewed with distrust and frustration over whether or not they can be housed, fed, employed, and integrated. however, one small town in italy has a very different, friendly posture. the town is called riace, and here is a look at the story newshour weekend special correspondent christopher livesay brought us back in april. >> reporter: it's a short, ten- minute drive up the coast in italy's southernmost region of pical of a town dating back toof medieval times. there are narrow, winding streets and a 16th-century church in the main square. but there's something very atypical about riace these days. while much of europe is reacting warily to migrants and refugees from the middle east, south asia, and africa, riace welcomes them with a smile.
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>> hey, bon giorno. >> reporter: daniel yaboah is originally from ghana." i've known him for many years," this woman says." his children were born here." a familiar face here in riace, yaboah goes house to house collecting trash and recyclables along with his "trusty donkey." he's been here seven-and-a-half years. he says he was forced to flee death threats in ghana after his wife converted for him from islam to christianity. you have a life here? >> ( translated ): yes, of course. we have a life here, and the people here give us a chance to feel like home. >> reporter: more than just a handful of refugees live here. of riace's 1,800 residents, about 400, or 22%, are non- italians from more than 20 different countries-- a fact proudly displayed on welcome signs. for mayor lucano, helping refugees settle here is not just the right thing to do, it's practical.
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what would the town be like without refugees right now? >> ( translated ): simply put, riace would no longer exist. >> reporter: that's because by the 1990's this once thriving town of 2,500 people was becoming a ghost town-- suffering the fate of so many small old towns in europe. its population had dropped almost in half, as young people moved away to find jobs in cities and left behind empty houses and shuttered businesses. the one public elementary school almost closed. then, one day in 1998, fate sailed in. a sailboat washed up on the beach of riace. the people aboard were kurds from iraq and turkey. >> for me and for others, it was a sign. >> reporter: bahram acar was among the 200 kurdish refugees crammed on the boat drifting across the mediterranean sea. >> ( translated ): we ran out of food. we ran out of water. it was getting too hot. the boat was small, and at times we were taking on water. i slept for three days like this-- with water to my knees.
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i liked how when the sun came up, i saw that the geography was like a second kurdistan. i said, "i'm not going anywhere. i want to stay here." >> reporter: acar has lived here ever since, becoming fluent in italian, raising a family and working in construction. that boatload of kurdish refugees 18 years ago was also a eureka moment for mayor lucano. rather than seeing them as a threat or a disrupter, he saw them as the town's future-- an opportunity. young refugees in search of better lives needed homes, and riace had hundreds of empty ones to fill. >> ( translated ): even if you're here by yourself, you get your own house. because this is the strategy that we launched from the beginning. the whole town is a migrant center. >> reporter: not only would refugees get their own homes to live in, lucano started a program to transform other abandoned houses into all types of artistic workshops, giving refugees skills to help them independently earn a living. migrants and refugees have also found work in the mayor's office
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and other municipal jobs. of course, it takes money to make all this happen. the italian national government subsidizes riace and towns like it the equivalent of 30 dollars a day for every refugee for one year. riace uses the funds to renovate homes, help migrants start new businesses, and pay them a monthly stipend. over time, seeing results like this helped persuade skeptical townspeople that welcoming migrants is worth it. this woman says: "riace has changed for the better." and this convenience store manager says he would not be open today, if it weren't for all the purchases made by refugees. including an influx of a thousand refugees last year, the mayor estimates between seven and eight thousand have come through riace since the late¡ 90s. most have chosen to stay for only a short time, eventually heading to northern europe, where they may have friends or family or perceive better prospects. despite the mayor's best efforts to accommodate migrants, sometimes he falls short. these men came from nigeria with their wives and children." lucky" has been here since the
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fall of 2014. he has a two year residence permit. >> this one is my residence. >> reporter: a place to live, and a $200 a month stipend for each member of his family. but neither lucky nor his friend neosa-- >> this is of my baby. >> reporter: --have been able to find steady work. >> the biggest problem we have here is a job. a family man cannot live without no job. i need to work. that is the problem i'm crying for. >> reporter: i asked the mayor what would happen to those nigerian men. >> ( translated ): with respect to all the migrants we welcome here, we don't have the resources to find work for every one of them. but what i can say is that no one has ever left because their temporary job came to an end. no one has left because the state has told us that these people need to leave. that's never happened. >> reporter: mayor lucano says riace will continue helping as many refugees as it can, and he hopes to inspire other european
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communities to open their arms too, to people caught in modern conflicts who found refuge in a medieval town. >> sreenivasan: by 2050, the world's population will reach 9.7-billion, according to united nations estimates. this subsequent increase in demand for meat products, will strain the environment even further. researchers all over the world say consumers must move to more plant-based diets, and there is even a movement to have insects replace meat as a source of protein and iron. for the most part, though, the thought of eating bugs has largely been limited to a few select restaurants. until now. newshour weekend special correspondent amy guttman has the story. >> reporter: at this food truck in brussels, there are healthy portions of protein in their kabobs, burgers, and nachos, but one ingredient may surprise you: crickets.
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yes, these are skewers of roasted crickets with tomatoes. increasingly, in europe, adventurous eaters, entrepreneurs, and scientists are touting insects like crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers as a new "super food" for humans because some insects provide more protein than meat, plus high levels of iron, essential amino and omega- three fatty acids. >> i truly believe that it can be an alternative for meat, because it's much more ecological to breed insects than other meat, and it tastes good. >> reporter: nikolaas viaene farms crickets indoors in the basement of this belgian business park. it takes him just 40 days to raise them from larvae to adults, and because crickets are so tiny, viaene can breed tens of thousands in this small space, as long as he's able to control the heat and humidity: 31 degrees celsius, or 88 degrees fahrenheit, is ideal. what are some of the benefits of
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both eating and breeding crickets? >> to make the same amount of protein as a cow,, crickets need 25 times less food, 300 times less water, and they produce 60 times less greenhouse gases. >> reporter: viaene says another benefit of breeding crickets is they feed on by-products normally thrown away, like soybean hulls and corn husks. breeding and selling crickets for food is so new, different countries have different rules. it's not allowed in italy, iceland, or denmark. it is legal in belgium, the netherlands, the uk and the u.s. with all that uncertainty, in york, england, scientist adrian charlton is studying the use of insects in animal feed as a replacement for soybeans and fishmeal. >> the nutritional profile of insects for use in chicken feed, as an example, are absolutely perfect. as you can imagine, chickens have evolved to eat insects. >> reporter: charlton says more than two billion people, mainly in africa and asia, already eat
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bugs as part of their diet, but despite the health benefits, he isn't convinced western taste buds are ready to swallow crickets and grasshoppers like vitamins. charleton thinks incorporating insects into other products is the place to start. >> i can see, for example, cricket flours, food products that are produced from insects that may not have legs and wings, and what have you, being a little bit more acceptable than eating whole insects as a bulk dietary supplement. >> reporter: a united nations report three years ago cited nearly 2,000 species of edible bugs as a potential, partial solution to world hunger. >> but i'm not entirely convinced myself that we¡ll see insects as a mainstream food. now, insect protein or insect products within food, i think, ing to see a huge dent in not either market, the animal feed or the food area, within the next five to ten years.
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>> reporter: crickets and other insects have already cracked the kitchen at london restaurant archipelago. chef daniel creedon says 10-15% of his customers order his quinoa, kale and cricket salad every week. you're actually trying to get people to get over the ick factor? >> we're trying to be bold about it. we want people to see what they're eating and to get over the nerves, because it's only a psychological block. >> reporter: for dessert, creedon serves chocolate-covered locusts and mealworms in caramel sauce, he jokingly named" cavierr." >> i do think they are going to become a part of our diet. i don't think it's necessarily going to be how we serve them-- whole insects right up. for example, you can extract the protein from insects so you could end up with something very similar to tofu made from insects. >> reporter: if an insect meal is too much to fathom, there are snacks made of insects. some were on display at the annual specialty and fine food show in london. there were barbecue-roasted bugs. >> for the grasshopper, we just recommend to remove the wings
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because the wings are very small. >> it's like a prawn. >> reporter: and insect bars. >> that's really good. >> reporter: danish entrepreneur christine spliid makes these crobars-- cocoa and peanut butter protein bars made with cricket flour. since starting her business last year, she's added raspberry and coffee flavors. despite having a slightly earthy taste, spliid detects a shift in public acceptance. >> it's really tasty. >> many more people have heard about the trends of insects in food, and that's both at the kind of health shows we've done, also the more commercial shows. >> reporter: back in his lab, adrian charlton envisions a world where insects not only supplement human diets, but also medicine, with the potential to extract proteins and fats to develop pharmaceutical products. >> insects live in some very terrible places, and their immune system stands up to that. well, why is that? there's a whole body of research around some of the molecular defense mechanisms that insects have against disease, that might provide us with new compounds and new solutions for the future.
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>> sreenivasan: the season premiere of the award-winning series "independent lens" is tomorrow on pbs, and it begins with the real life cross cultural comedy "meet the patels." it's the story of ravi patel, an indian-american actor who enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams-- and his parents. here's a look. >> louise -- ♪ ♪ no, no, no. let's not do that. that means it has gone too far. i don't want -- >> okay. do this and we are done.
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when you talk to her, she may not know why you are talking to her. >> i am telling you, you guys are treating me like i am socially retarred. >> i have very good social -- >> married, right. >> do you just -- you should -- you don't trust -- i make my own choices. >> if you don't like somebody -- >> you love mom and dad, because you have been with them all of these years. >> -- i don't like you guys. >> okay. >> >> this is the most unnecessary -- i have had in my
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>> sreenivasan: and finally tonight, police in augsburg, germany sent out the tweet tonight that everyone there had been waiting for:" we have a good message for christmas." the good message was that experts had successfully defused a massive two-ton bomb dropped by allied aircraft during world war ii, and that more than 50- thousand residents who had been evacuated could now go home. it was the largest such evacuation in germany since the war ended. that's it for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made
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possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪
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the pbs arts fall festival was made possible by a generous grant from the anne ray charitable trust and by viewers like you, thank you. announcer: "live from lincoln center" is made possible by a major grant from metlife. metlife--i can do this. [applause] with additional support from: the robert wood johnson 1962 charitable trust, dedicated to enriching the lives of all americans through medical research, education, and the arts; thomas h. lee and ann tenenbaum;

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