March 2024 | WNET American Masters


Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the quintessential American poet-politician. He alone infused public policy with a language, literature, and lyricism that no American public figure in the latter half of the twentieth century could match. The film takes a personal look at a public man who was not only an intellectual but also an aesthete who was deeply committed to making an inimitable impact on the world. With unprecedented access to the Moynihan archives made available by his family, the film will capture and define a character whose life embodied a quintessential American story. The range of Moynihan’s interests was extraordinary: architecture, urban planning, public works, transportation safety, international diplomacy, government secrecy and above all, an unyielding commitment to creating systemic change for the American underclass.


Co-Director, Joseph Dorman is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has appeared on PBS, CBS, Discovery Channel and CNN. His latest film, Don Quixote in Newark tells the the story of the singular doctor who discovered AIDS in children in the early 1980s and led the battle against it, ultimately helping end the pandemic. His previous films include Colliding Dreams on the controversial history of Zionism described by the Los Angeles Times as “Compelling and engrossing… a film of ideas, a film of history” and Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness named one of the 2011’s highest grossing documentaries. Mr. Dorman also wrote and directed the Peabody Award-winning documentary, Arguing the World, about eminent political writers and thinkers, Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, Irving Kristol and Nathan Glazer.

Co-Director, Toby Perl Freilich wrote, directed and produced INVENTING OUR LIFE: The Kibbutz Experiment, released theatrically in 2012 and hailed by the NY Times as “fascinating;” “poignant… and thought-provoking… rises above standard histories.” Freilich co-produced and wrote the documentary film, SECRET LIVES: Hidden Children and Their Rescuers, selected by Andrew Sarris as one of the ten best non-fiction films of 2003, featured on HBO/Cinemax, and winner of numerous festival awards. For Secret Lives, Freilich was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Achievement in a Craft: Writing, and Secret Lives was nominated in the category of Outstanding Historical Programming. Freilich was also co-producer of the Emmy-nominated RESISTANCE: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans, an independent documentary that was broadcast nationally on PBS.