ndependent Lens: Wings of Defeat
Refusing to admit defeat in the waning days of World War II, Japan sent young pilots on suicide missions. When Japanese-American filmmaker Risa Morimoto learned that her uncle had trained as a kamikaze pilot—a secret he had carried to the grave—she tracked down former kamikazes and interviewed them. Her thoughtful documentary looks at the war from both Japanese and American perspectives. Tuesday, May 5, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings
WWII Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West
In this three-part series, secret World War II meetings between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin come to life in unique dramatizations based on archival material that has surfaced only since the fall of the Soviet Union. The six-hour documentary includes first-person accounts by dozens of witnesses, including former Soviet secret police and Red Army veterans. Wednesdays, May 6, 13, and 20, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings
China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
When an earthquake struck China’s rural Sichuan province a year ago, 10,000 children died, many trapped in flimsily built schools. The makers of the award-winning Baghdad ER were on the scene within days to capture grieving parents’ agony and outrage. Most had lost their only child—and faced indifference and even persecution from government officials when they pressed for an investigation. Thursday, May 7, at 8 p.m., HBO
How Bruce Lee Changed the World
More than an extraordinary martial artist, Bruce Lee shattered Asian screen stereotypes and made an indelible mark on popular culture worldwide. This colorful portrait follows Lee’s daughter Shannon to Hong Kong to trace his roots. It includes rare family footage and interviews with Jackie Chan, director John Woo, and others. Sunday, May 10, at 8 p.m., History
World-weary Swedish police inspector Kurt Wallander is the troubled hero of a series of best-selling mysteries by Henning Mankell. Kenneth Branagh’s subtle performance in the title role is the foremost asset of three adaptations airing this month, while excellent location photography brings to life the novels’ setting of Ystad, Sweden. In the first episode, an unknown young woman’s suicide may be the key to a series of grisly ax murders. Sundays, May 10, 17, and 31, at 9 p.m., PBS
The Hip Hop Project
An award-winning documentary about a once-homeless rapper who coaxes New York City teens into choosing rhyme over crime. Monday, May 4, at 9 p.m., Sundance Channel
Dog Whisperer: Inside Puppy Mills
Cesar Milan goes undercover to expose inhumane conditions at several Los Angeles County kennels. Friday, May 8, at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
- 4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- Another Bitcoin exchange bites the dust
- The end of academic freedom?
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