WGBH Openvault

New Television; New Television, Episode 606; Belladonna

Part of New Television Workshop.

Artists Beth B. and Ida Applebroog use videotaped performance combined with figurative drawing and captions to create a disturbing, provocative program about the unthinkable yet prevalent occurrence of child victimization. The script for the program is delivered in brief monologues by a cast of several men and women reading statements from various texts, including the writings of Freud and the testimonies of Josef Mengele's victims. It is then intercut with a boy's voice repeating "I am not a bad person" to powerful and moving effect. In black and white and color, this work plays short sentences and phrases off one another. Spoken texts include excerpts from Joel Steinberg's 1988 trial, testimonies from Josef Mengele's victims, and Sigmund Freud's case history of 1919 "A Child Is Being Beaten. Approximate date: 1989

License Clip
New Television
New Television, Episode 606
Program Number




Series Description

"New Television" began as a local pilot production of WNET (New York) in 1986. In 1987, WGBH signed on as co-producer, and the shows were aired in Boston and New York. In 1988 and 1989, KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (D.C.) became producers in association. In 1991, PBS picked up "New Television," and it was broadcast nationally. The following year, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, replaced WNET, WETA, and KCET as co-producer with WGBH. In 1993, WGBH ceased to be a co-producer for the series, and the "home base" moved to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford, CT.

"New Television" commissioned, produced, and acquired programming. In its early years, "New Television" broadcast works commissioned by The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Increasingly, experimental films as well as video works were broadcast as a part of this series. Many of the later episodes of "New Television" contain works that play with and deconstruct the documentary genre. Series release date: 1986

Program Description

Includes Ida Applebroog’s and Beth B.’s “Belladonna” and Burt Barr’s “The Dogs.”

Asset Type


Media Type


Applebroog, Ida
Child abuse
Beth B, 1955-
Film and Television
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “New Television; New Television, Episode 606; Belladonna,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed February 26, 2020, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6345CA7F956A487A9D2ED519E207DFEB.
MLA: “New Television; New Television, Episode 606; Belladonna.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. February 26, 2020. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6345CA7F956A487A9D2ED519E207DFEB>.
APA: New Television; New Television, Episode 606; Belladonna. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6345CA7F956A487A9D2ED519E207DFEB
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