This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable
The Politics of Pop Culture

All over the world, people connect to one another through the culture they share. Movies, music and television entertain and provoke -- but they also reflect how a society views itself.

Worldfocus travels to Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico and Jordan for a look at how film, literature and music intersect with politics.

In Israel, a thriving film industry tackles difficult topics from recent Israeli military history. In Iran, moviegoers flock to homegrown comedies -- but also keep up with the very latest in Western films, despite the best efforts of censors. Elsewhere in the Arab world, television screens display everything from drama-filled Turkish soap operas to American media mogul Oprah Winfrey. In Jamaica, a furor over violent and sexually explicit lyrics mirrors a deeply divided society, while in Mexico, drug lords pay songwriters to memorialize their deeds in song. And in Cuba, rappers are testing the limits of political protest.

"The Politics of Pop Culture" is a collection of signature videos, extended interviews, blogger perspectives, reporter observations from the field and web original videos.

The Politics of Pop Culture

Love-hate feelings complicate U.S.-Philippines relationship

Signature Video

Love-hate feelings complicate U.S.-Philippines relationship

From 50 years of American colonial rule to the emigration of Filipino nurses and a love of basketball, Correspondent Mark Litke and Producer Ara Ayer report on the unique historical relationship between the U.S. and Philippines from Manila.

Posted: November 2, 2009 18:20   Comments: 2
An unusual weapon in the war against extremism

Signature Video

An unusual weapon in the war against extremism

Worldfocus correspondent Hoda Osman and producer Rebecca Haggerty visited the North African kingdom of Morocco to report on how many Moroccans - including those in the government - are turning to Sufism as a moderating influence to combat religious extremism.

Posted: October 20, 2009 14:59   Comments: 7
The bowler hat: Born in Britain, perfected by Bolivia

Video

The bowler hat: Born in Britain, perfected by Bolivia

Worldfocus producer and correspondent Ivette Feliciano explores a fascinating fashion trend in Bolivia -- the bowler hat -- which has roots in Europe.

Posted: October 9, 2009 10:16   Comments: 2
Nigeria’s Nollywood produces more films than U.S.

Q&A / Video

Nigeria’s Nollywood produces more films than U.S.

This year, the United Nations announced that Nigeria's film industry had surpassed the U.S. in numbers of feature films produced. Explore an interactive feature about the top film-producing nations and read a Q&A about the rise of "Nollywood."

Posted: October 7, 2009 12:35   Comments: 1
Japan’s new leader axes plans for manga museum

Hsin-Yin Lee (blog)

Japan’s new leader axes plans for manga museum

To save some money for the Japanese people, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is canceling his predecessor's plans for a museum dedicated to manga and animation. But as Hsin-Yin Lee writes, comics are becoming an important -- and profitable -- part of Japanese life.

Posted: October 7, 2009 10:34   Comments: 0
No daggerin’ on Jamaican TV and on Worldfocus

In the Newsroom

No daggerin’ on Jamaican TV and on Worldfocus

Correspondent Lisa Biagiotti shares why Worldfocus didn't air daggerin' images, addresses the realities of rampant violence and adolescent sex and explores how some Jamaican artists are singing more uplifting gospel Dancehall music.

Posted: October 2, 2009 15:27   Comments: 12
Iranians scour Internet for entertainment, evading censors

Extended Interview

Iranians scour Internet for entertainment, evading censors

Iranian students discuss how they bypass censorship and filters to find music and films, both online and in shops on the streets. They also explore the influence of Western culture and the backlash against it.

Posted: October 2, 2009 14:16   Comments: 1
One island, two Jamaicas and a ‘whole heap’ of difference

Signature Video

One island, two Jamaicas and a ‘whole heap’ of difference

A public debate erupted earlier this year when graphic Dancehall music lyrics and images were banned from Jamaica's airwaves. The public responses reveal the legacy of two Jamaicas dating back to the country's slave history, as correspondent Lisa Biagiotti reports.

Posted: October 1, 2009 17:17   Comments: 14
Dancehall artist sings of poverty plaguing Jamaica’s ghettos

Web Original Video

Dancehall artist sings of poverty plaguing Jamaica’s ghettos

Dancehall artist Spice came under attack because of the sexually-explicit song Rampin' Shop, a duet with Vybz Kartel. But not all of her songs are so graphic. Spice talks about growing up in Jamaica's ghettos and sings a refrain from her new song about her life story.

Posted: October 1, 2009 16:05   Comments: 8
Patriotic Chinese film stirs passions on nation’s anniversary

Hsin-Yin Lee (blog)

Patriotic Chinese film stirs passions on nation’s anniversary

Hsin-Yin Lee, an international news editor at a Chinese newspaper, describes a recent film that has Chinese patriots buzzing. The movie features 176 stars and at least 90 settings.

Posted: October 1, 2009 10:44   Comments: 1
Page 1 of 3123
Facebook Twitter YouTube

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2017 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television