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Archive for Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Three farms and not a fair in sight

July 26, 2011

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Intrepid filmmakers travel the world to document some less-than-bucolic conditions down on the farm. The “Vanguard” presentation “Tiger Farms” (7 p.m., Current) exposes the grim conditions in nature preserves in South Asia, where the once wild tiger is raised almost exclusively to supply China’s insatiable black market demand for tigers and tiger parts.

• “Mugabe and the White African” on “POV” (9 p.m., PBS) was shot entirely in secret to protect the filmmakers from arrest, or worse. It chronicles the efforts of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe to seize the few remaining farms belonging to white residents as part of a “land reform” program. The film shows how these efforts have distributed once-thriving farms to Mugabe’s flunkies and political allies, who have let them go to waste, ruining Zimbabwe’s agricultural economy.

One man, Michael Campbell, has refused to yield. At considerable risk to his own life, he has challenged Mugabe in international courts. An intimate and insightful film, “White African” asks hard questions about politics and race and shines a light on Africa’s torturous post-colonial ordeal.

• Farmers and cultivators of a different sort loom large in “The Pot Republic” on “Frontline” (8 p.m., PBS). California’s efforts to legalize marijuana for medical purposes have created a huge and thriving industry of homegrown product, supplanting the marijuana that used to be smuggled over the border. This bonanza has inspired more than a third of all states to consider some form of decriminalization.

Moving in the opposite direction, the federal government has recently challenged the legitimacy of health claims surrounding marijuana use and may be moving to shut down California’s flourishing industry.

• TV-themed DVDs available today include season two of the vintage comedy “Dennis the Menace.”

Tonight’s other highlights

• Down to 14 on “Hell’s Kitchen” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Danger visits the Saudi royal family on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS).

• The competition continues on “America’s Got Talent” (8 p.m., NBC).

• Only eight remain on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox).

• A rescue has secrets all his own on “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” (8 p.m., ABC Family).

• The star attraction at a funeral service goes missing on “Memphis Beat” (8 p.m., TNT).

• A friend of Jones goes missing on “White Collar” (8 p.m., USA).

• Scheduled on “48 Hours Mystery” (9 p.m., CBS): A wife sues her husband’s mistress and somebody ends up dead.

• Wounded soldiers anoint a fellow soldier as their lucky charm on “Combat Hospital” (9 p.m., ABC).

• A hostage crisis to untangle on “Covert Affairs” (9 p.m., USA).

• A hoarder is discovered entombed in trash on “True Grime” (9 p.m., ID).

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