PBS’ long-running public affairs program Frontline has just kicked off Bitter Rivals, a 2-part docu-series which will investigate the Iranian-Saudi conflict. With the first episode airing February 20th, the specials have been in development for the past two years, helmed by Frontline creator and former executive producer David Fanning.
PBS revealed some details of development in conversation with Fanning: “The series was originally conceived…as an exploration of sectarianism in the Middle East, tracing how an ancient battle between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam evolved, and how those differences sparked prejudice and occasional violence over the years.” The report goes on to explain the rare complexity of this project in terms of both PBS’ content and television documentaries in general.
Including coverage from seven countries—Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, in addition to Iran and Saudi Arabia—Bitter Rivals looks to be must-see television, luckily accessible to all Americans who are able to watch PBS in their regions.
Look out for the second part of Bitter Rivals on Tuesday, February 27th. Part one can be viewed on PBS’s website, but check your local listings and accessibility.
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