June 05, 2000 12:00 PM

PBS (Mon., June 5, 9 p.m. ET)

TV dramas are partial to people who make life-or-death decisions on the job—especially cops and doctors. But this superb P.O.V. documentary will make you wonder why no one has thought to create a series about so-called bureaucrats at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. The film focuses on the outwardly routine yet often agonizing process in which seekers of political asylum attempt to convince the INS that they have a “well-founded fear” of persecution in their homelands. INS interviewers probe for inconsistencies and exaggerations in the applicants’ stories, all the while asking themselves, “How are you going to feel if this guy goes back and somebody puts a bullet in his head?” There’s no action here, but the drama is uniquely absorbing.

Bottom Line: Stamp it “approved”

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