Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

Plus, Other highlights; Show of the week; Movies on TV this week; New on DVD

Nova: Judgment Day, Intelligent Design on Trial In 2004, the small town of Dover, Pa., roiled with controversy when science teachers refused to instruct students that “intelligent design” was an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution, as directed by their school board. A special twohour edition of NOVA reenacts and analyzes the ensuing federal court case, which echoed the famous Scopes trial of 1925. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Independent Lens: Miss Navajo Competitors in the 50-year-old Miss Navajo pageant must do more than merely look attractive; they must speak Navajo, show detailed knowledge of the culture, and demonstrate such skills as baking, weaving, and sheep butchering. Independent Lens follows presentday contestants and visits past winners, providing an engaging glimpse of the Navajo way of life. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

American Skinheads Once dismissed as a radical fringe, racist skinhead groups are now a nationwide network—an estimated 10,000 strong—dedicated to violent overthrow of the government. Cameras go inside a secret meeting at which members are encouraged to blend into the mainstream to foment white supremacy. We also hear from members of the counter-organization Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Pu-239 This extremely well-made film’s unusual mixture of gritty drama and grimly dark comedy brings the post-perestroika demimonde of 1995 Russia to life. Dying of radiation poisoning, a desperate Russian nuclear plant worker tries to provide for his family by peddling stolen plutonium on the black market with the help of a bungling Moscow pimp. Paddy Considine, Radha Mitchell, and Oscar Isaac star. Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m., HBO

Andrew Jackson This colorful portrait of America’s first populist president dramatizes the incidents that shaped his fierce personality, including his boyhood capture by the British during the Revolutionary War and the traumatic death of his beloved wife. It also showcases his heroism in the War of 1812, without overlooking his brutal treatment of Native Americans. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m., History Channel

Other highlights

Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry HBO Sports looks at the 110-year history of one of college football’s most celebrated rivalries. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 10:30 p.m., HBO

Nature: The Beauty of Ugly Nature shows how outré appearances serve a purpose for such creatures as warthogs, hagfish, and proboscis monkeys. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

All listings are Eastern time.

Show of the week

Baghdad Diary As the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, Fadil Kadom, a Baghdad taxi driver who had fought for Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War of 1991, began using a small camcorder to document his struggles to keep himself and his family alive. At the same time, Craig White, an American TV cameraman embedded with U.S. infantry, also started recording events in the city. Together their footage provides a rare, up-close view of the war’s small victories and horrific costs for American soldiers and Iraqis. Bob Woodruff, the ABC News correspondent who was injured by an IED in Iraq in January 2006, is host. Saturday, Nov. 17, at 10 p.m., History Channel

Movies on TV this week

Monday, Nov. 12 The Last King of Scotland (2006) Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor Oscar for this dramatization of the brutal regime of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. 8 p.m., Cinemax

Tuesday The Departed (2006) Four Oscars, including Best Picture, went to director Martin Scorsese’s violent crime epic, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. 8 p.m., HBO

Wednesday Garden State (2004) Scrubs star Zach Braff made a promising filmmaking debut as writer, director, and star of this bittersweet romantic comedy. With Natalie Portman. 9 p.m., IFC

Thursday Help!

Friday The Asphalt Jungle (1950) This urban crime drama set a style for many later heist films. With Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, and, in one of her earliest performances, Marilyn Monroe. 8 p.m., TCM

Saturday Bus Stop (1956) Monroe had one of her best roles in this comedydrama, as a lounge singer abducted by a lovestruck cowboy. Don Murray costars. Noon, FMC

New On DVD

La Vie en Rose (2007) Parisian actress Marion Cotillard will likely get a Best Actress Oscar nomination this year for her fiery performance as tragic French chanteuse Édith Piaf. (PG-13, $28)

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