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FRONTLINE: American Insurrection

Rally in Richmond, Va. Nov. 21, 2020.
Courtesy of ProPublica/FRONTLINE (PBS)
Rally in Richmond, Va. Nov. 21, 2020.

Encore Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV / On Demand

Over the last three years, FRONTLINE has collaborated with ProPublica to investigate the rise of extremism in America — from the deadly Charlottesville rally in 2017, to a neo-Nazi group that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military, to the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. This April, FRONTLINE, ProPublica and UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program will release “American Insurrection,” a timely, 90-minute documentary that probes the far-right groups and leaders responsible for the recent threats and violence.

The documentary is from the same team behind FRONTLINE and ProPublica’s award-winning “Documenting Hate” series. Correspondent A.C. Thompson, director Rick Rowley and producers Karim Hajj and Jacquie Soohen explore how far-right groups were emboldened and encouraged by former President Trump, how individuals were radicalized and brought into the political landscape - and what the fears and concerns are going forward.


“For the last few years, many of these far-right groups and militias have been talking about civil war, about overthrowing the government,” says Thompson. “These groups talk about revolution and believe that we have a tyrannical and profoundly corrupt government that prevented Trump from winning a second term.” 

A stunning and urgent report, American Insurrection will investigate the threat posed by violent, far-right groups that see themselves as defending the U.S. constitution but are tied to anti-government, white supremacist ideologies and criminality.

“American Insurrection” will be the first in a series of new FRONTLINE documentaries examining the swell of violent extremism around the world. It is supported by “Exploring Hate,” a new, multiplatform public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York aimed at offering an in-depth understanding of the rising tide of hatred, hate crimes, anti-Semitism and racism.

“While we have reported on the division former President Trump stoked from the first days of his presidency to his last, the recent attack on the Capitol has reinforced the need for journalism that holds those in power to account — and for tough reporting on the threats of domestic and international extremism,” says Raney Aronson-Rath. “We are committed to keeping our pulse on this urgent and evolving issue, and grateful to our partners at ProPublica and WNET.”

Watch On Your Schedule:


“American Insurrection” premieres Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 10/9c on PBS, and will be available to stream at, on YouTube and the PBS Video App.

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A FRONTLINE production with Midnight Films, LLC in partnership with ProPublica. The writer and director is Richard Rowley. The producer and correspondent is A.C. Thompson. The producers are Karim Hajj and Jacqueline Soohen. The consulting producer is Ford Fischer. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.