PBS’ long-standing documentary strand ‘Independent Lens’ will showcase the noble work of shoe shiners in director Stacey Tenenbaum’s documentary The Art of the Shine.
Shoe shiners might seem like something out of the Mad Men era, but Tenenbaum shows how those working in the trade consider the profession a calling and passion, one way to be one’s own boss and offers the chance to connect with people.
From Toronto to Paris and beyond, audiences get a chance to meet shiners who open up about their feelings and about their work. In Bolivia, those in the trade wear masks to hide their identity as the industry is looked down upon. In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we meet the last shoe shiner in the city and, in New York, we are introduced to Kevin and his crew who, all recovering alcoholics, have found not only sobriety, but a way of life that is artistically and socially fulfilling.
The film is produced by H2L Productions and Documentary Channel, with Tenenbaum and Sergeo Kirby serving as producers.
The Art of the Shine premieres on ‘Independent Lens’ April 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.