Thursday, August 12, 2004
How can peace come to a region where children learn to hate almost before they learn to read? Filmmakers James Miller and Saira Shah made the 2003 documentary "Death in Gaza" (8:30 p.m., HBO) to understand the lives of Palestinian children and how they are used and indoctrinated by militants and suicide bombers. The team planned to make a companion film about Israeli children, but Miller was killed May 2, 2003, by Israeli troops while filming "Death in Gaza."
It's impossible to watch "Death" without feeling torn. The subjects are mere children, and they often seem vulnerable, charming and cute. But they quickly shift from playful to vengeful, vowing to kill the unseen Israelis they have been taught to despise.
- Just when you think you'd seen the last variation on the movie-star profile, Bravo presents "Backspin" (7 p.m.), a new twist on the "Biography"/"True Hollywood Story" genre that approaches each star's life in a new direction: backward.
Tonight's premiere take on Halle Berry begins with the recent, lamentable "Catwoman" movie and goes back through her films to her school and childhood years to find those character-building moments that set her on her path to fame. Let's hope this works better than that reverse order episode of "Seinfeld." A future installments of "Backspin" will give a Z-to-A glance at Mel Gibson from his "Passion" days to his "Mad Max" fame, and his childhood and religious upbringing.
Tonight's other highlights
- The house votes out another member on "Big Brother 5" (7 p.m., CBS).
- Fox devotes a half-hour special (7 p.m.) to promoting the new monster movie "Alien vs. Predator," produced by their sister company 20th Century Fox.
- Has-beens, never-weres and where-are-they-nows duke it out on "Celebrity Boxing 2" (7:30 p.m., Fox).
- Murder stalks the plushy people on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
- Jay Mohr hosts "Last Comic Standing" (8 p.m., NBC).
- Past champs convene on "Celebrity Poker Showdown" (8 p.m., Bravo).