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When dwarfs become giants: a 'must-see'

With no fear of indulging in a tasteless play on words, may I ask a little favor of readers of these lines? Find Little People (PBS, Wednesday, July 18, 9- 10 p.m.) on your local schedule and watch it.

It's a show about dwarfs and, before it's over, many of the little people on your screen will seem like giants.

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Over 500 dwarfs (that's what they now prefer to call themselves) meet once a year for a national Little People of America convention. This absolutely unique PBS show is a record of a week spent with thousands of people under 4 feet, 10 inches.

''Little People,'' produced, directed, and edited by Jan Krawitz and Thomas Ott, explores the struggle for self-esteem and equal opportunity by these dwarfs and manages to cut the big world down to its proper size.

Although the film overflows with tender feelings of love and understanding, it's also chock-full of humor and wry observations. Probably the most charming moment comes when a tiny child explains the advantage of being a dwarf: ''When you play hide-and-seek, it's a lot easier to hide.''

''Little People'' should be required viewing for anyone who believes the world has not given him a fair shake. The Little People, it seems, can teach all of us ''big 'uns'' humility, self-awareness, and some real perspective on the world around us.

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