Public television has long been a champion of diversity. Through October 19, PBS will honor Latinos by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a varied lineup of new and encore programming. Among the repeat broadcasts that are absolutely worth your time are the documentaries Tales From a Ghetto Klown, a behind-the-scenes look at John Leguizamo’s Broadway show of the same name; Mariachi High, an inspiring year in the life of the champion mariachi ensemble at Zapata High School in South Texas; and Waste Land, an Academy Award-nominated film about a Brazilian artist who uses materials found in a landfill to create larger-than-life portraits of garbage collectors. (Check local listings)
One of the new programs spotlighted this month is VOCES, a showcase of documentaries that celebrate the rich diversity of the Latino cultural experience, which will premiere in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month on four consecutive Friday nights.
VOCES kicks off with Tales of Masked Men (September 28), an absorbing insider’s look at the world of Mexican “lucha libre,” famous for its masked wrestlers, followed by Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart (October 5), about a gutsy team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico. Unfinished Spaces (October 12) tells the story of the Cuban Revolution through its most significant work of architecture, Cuba’s National Arts Schools, and the three visionary men who designed it, while Lemon (October 19) follows Puerto Rican poet/performer Lemon Andersen, a three-time felon and one-time Tony Award winner, as he struggles to take his life story to the New York stage.
VOCES ON PBS, premieres this Friday, September 28 and runs on four consecutive Friday nights through October 19 at 10:00 p.m. ET.