March 22, 2006

No Borders series continues on National Geographic

I said it before, and after watching last week's installment of the series, I have to say it again: The No Borders series on the National Geographic channel is an excellent series of documentaries. After the first series of documentaries was shown, they had been showing reruns for the past couple months, but starting Saturday the week before last, they have begun showing new installments of the series. I didn't write much about them in the last post, and I don't plan to write much in this post because there is simply too much to say about them.

Last Saturday's documentary was "Omar and Pete." The story began with Omar's release from prison, where he has spent most of the last thirty years of his life. Omar is an intelligent guy who became a Muslim while in prison, has been off drugs for years, and is determined to start a new life for himself. His parole agent and most of the people working in the parole system are black, like him, some of them also former addicts, and they believe in Omar. He has a family and community to return to, and he lives in a transition house where his old friend Pete is making a successful transition to life outside prison. Failure is unthinkable.

However, it's not as easy for Omar as it first looks. He talks about momentarily going back to the old thinking, where he starts thinking about getting high, getting a .38 and calling up his cousin to do some damage. For me, watching a horror movie produces about zero grams of horror, but hearing Omar describe how close he was to returning to his old life produced real dread.

Again, there is so much to talk about in this powerful documentary on the subjects of addiction, incarceration, community, and being a man, so I can only recommend that you keep an eye on the National Geographic channel and catch a rerun if you haven't seen it yet. The regular time for the series is Saturday at 11pm, for now.


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