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Displaying: Thursday, Feb 21 for UNC-EXPLORER Early Morning  -  Morning  -  Afternoon  -  Evening
Let There Be Light

Narrated by John Lisanti, LET THERE BE LIGHT follows the grand masters of stained glass art, artist Rowan LeCompte and craftsman Dieter Goldkuhle, as they create their last great series of windows for Washington National Cathedral. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Rowan began making stained glass windows at the age of 14 and designed his first window for Washington National Cathedral (the sixth largest cathedral in the world, with more than 200 stained glass windows), at the age of 16. He spent almost 70 years studying, drawing and creating architectural stained glass and mosaics for a multitude of locations, including: Episcopal Cathedrals in Maryland and Wyoming, the chapels of Trinity College and Princeton University, and the New York State Capitol in Albany. At the age of 81, Rowan was commissioned to produce what would be his last series of windows for the monumental building. The project was initially intended to take one year and be ready for the 2007 centennial celebration of the cathedral's founding. Rowan would design and paint this enormous window while Dieter, his long-time collaborator, would select and cut the glass and do the leading and installation. The documentary chronicles the fascinating creative process but also captures how age begins to take its toll on Rowan. The window falls behind dramatically schedule and the centennial deadline is missed. Artistic differences and the slow pace of work causes a tension to develop between artist and craftsman, and Dieter must eventually leave the project because of other commitments. Six years in the making, LET THERE BE LIGHT is told with stunningly beautiful imagery as it documents Rowan's life-long passion, imagination and creativity in using glass and light. Later, in a surprise reversal, an official Cathedral panel questions installing the new windows at all.

Samantha Brown's Places to Love : Lafayette and Cajun Country, La

Arriving at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is certainly entertaining for Samantha, who is instantly engulfed in dance and music (Cajun and Zydeco), and gets to watch band favorites jam before packed crowds. Piquing her musical interest, Samantha ventures off to Martin Accordions, who have been crafting custom accordions for major Cajun and Zydeco stars for decades. With a full understanding of the local music, Samantha gets her step on by visiting Glide Studios and learns how the locals dance, Cajun-style. In this neck of the woods, if you are going to eat it better have a spicy kick to do it, as Samantha finds out first-hand after visiting Tabasco and talking John Simmons, a 6th generation family member, about harvesting peppers, the 5 year process it takes to actually bottle the sauce and its global stamp. Hot sauce in check, Samantha takes to the water and farms crawfish with a local farmer, who invites her afterward to a family crawfish boil. Another important component in understanding Lafayette is its deep French history, which includes the derivation of Cajun and how the local culture came to evolve. Samantha learns all about this while visiting the historic village of Vermilionville. What's visiting Louisiana without taking ride into the Bayou? Samantha does just that, as she takes a kayak tour through the swamps and learns about its natural habitats and geological importance. To cap off her trip, Samantha attends a performance by the legendary Magnolia Sisters, an all-female Cajun band, and dances Cajun-style with the locals at the popular Blue Moon Saloon.

Ganges with Sue Perkins : The Gangetic Plain

Sue Perkins goes on an extraordinary journey, spanning over 1,500 miles, from the source of the Ganges high in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. She travels through some of the most extraordinary, chaotic and exciting places on earth, exploring the lives and landscapes of modern India at this crucial point in its history. In this second episode, Sue is halfway down the Ganges in the ancient city of Varanasi, a place which, for India's 950 million Hindus, has a unique significance. Sue immerses herself into the complex life of Varanasi, where the power of the Ganges is at its greatest and where life and death exist side by side. But she also discovers that it is here that the river faces its biggest challenges. In this intricate human habitat, Sue explores the lives of its people and sets out to understand more about the city's place in Hindu death rituals. She visits Varanasi's so-called death hotels, walks the lanes of the old city, encountering dead bodies being rushed past on their way to the cremation grounds, and on the steps of Varanasi's bathing ghats meets an Aghori monk going about his daily business - cleansing his soul in the Ganges river and rubbing the ashes of dead bodies over himself. Sue quickly discovers the contradictions that lie at the city's heart. On the one hand, it is seen by millions as the spiritual centre of India, yet on the other, it contains some of the most polluted stretches of river in the entire world. But for many devout Hindus, the physical condition of the water is separate from the spiritual power it holds. Sue meets Professor Mishra, who is uniquely qualified to help her understand the paradox that lies at the heart of the great river. Sue makes her final stop at the Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi's most prestigious funeral pyre, where bodies are burned on open fires so their souls can be released into a different realm.