Independent Lens Season 11
Independent Lens Season 11
First Air Date: September 21, 2009
|First Aired on||:||2009|
11x27 Our Disappeared (September 21, 2009)
An elderly man hires Solo, a Senegalese cab driver, to drive him to a mountaintop in North Carolina where he plans to commit suicide.
11x26 A Village Called Versailles (May 25, 2010)
Versailles, a tight-knit neighborhood on the edge of New Orleans, is home to the densest ethnic Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, residents rebuild their homes — only to have them threatened by a toxic landfill planned in their neighborhood. As the community fights back, it turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change.
11x25 Project Kashmir (May 18, 2010)
Two filmmakers, one Hindu and the other Muslim, sneak their cameras into one of the most beautiful, yet dangerous, places on Earth. In a region where religious alliances have spawned more than half a century of war, can these two filmmakers learn what makes Kashmiris choose their homeland over their own lives, even as their friendship is put to the test?
11x24 The Horse Boy (May 11, 2010)
Explore one family's unforgettable journey as they travel halfway across the world in search of a miracle to heal their autistic son. The film blends footage from the family's adventure through the Mongolian countryside with scenes from their life at home in Texas. Bolstered by testimony from autism experts, including Dr. Temple Grandin, this compelling film exquisitely captures an astonishing physical and spiritual journey.
11x23 Sunshine (January 01, 0001)
In 1975 rural Texas, a local mayor's daughter grapples with an unplanned pregnancy -- finally deciding to have her baby in secret before giving her away in a hidden adoption. Twenty-three years later, the adopted child also has an unplanned baby out of wedlock. "Sunshine" tells the intimate story of this second-generation single mother and her own struggle with the idea of family.
11x22 Garbage Dreams (April 27, 2010)
Filmed over four years, GARBAGE DREAMS follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world's largest garbage village, a ghetto located on the outskirts of Cairo. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.
11x21 Dirt! The Movie (April 20, 2010)
Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, "DIRT! The Movie" digs into the fascinating history of this lowly substance, explaining how four billion years of evolution have created the dirt that recycles our water, gives us food, provides us shelter and can be used as a source of medicine, beauty and culture. Destructive methods of agriculture, mining practices and urban development have placed this vital resource in danger.
11x20 Blessed Is the Match (April 13, 2010)
Joan Allen narrates this film about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Safe in Palestine in 1944, Hannah joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. Hannah parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis.
11x19 Unmistaken Child (April 07, 2010)
After world-renowned Tibetan master Geshe Lama Konchog passed away in 2001 at age 84, the Dalai Lama charged the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa, with the task of finding the reincarnation of this spiritual leader. Plagued by doubt, Tenzin knows his discovery is awaited by thousands of followers. Unmistaken Child is the story of his four-year search. Stunningly shot, Unmistaken Child follows Tenzin as he embarks on an unforgettable quest by foot, mule, and even helicopter, traveling through breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages. Along the way, Tenzin listens to stories about young children with special characteristics and performs rarely seen ritualistic tests designed to determine the likelihood of reincarnation. He eventually presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama — who will ultimately make the final decision.
11x18 Whatever It Takes (March 30, 2010)
What's a child's education worth? For one visionary rookie principal, it's priceless. At the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, an innovative public high school in New York City's South Bronx, Principal Edward Tom leads a dedicated group of teachers, students and parents in their biggest gamble yet. Within a community infamous for hardship, can this brand-new school live up to its promise, and inspire new stories of achievement and excellence?
11x17 Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) (March 23, 2010)
In 1999, filmmaker Monika Navarro's uncles were deported from the United States to Mexico, forced to leave the only country they knew and, as servicemen, had pledged to protect. Set against the backdrop of increased attention to the U.S.-Mexican border, "Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas)" explores national identity, the lives of immigrants and what happens when deportees are returned to a homeland they no longer consider home.
11x16 The Eyes of Me (March 02, 2010)
This is an up-close look at four teens who have lost their sight. The film follows their struggles to fit in, prepare for college and live independently. Theirs is a world where crossing an intersection, cooking a meal or navigating an unfamiliar area can be a challenge that sighted viewers never consider.
11x15 Behind the Rainbow (February 23, 2010)
With engrossing interviews and archival footage, filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri exposes the power struggles inside South Africa's African National Congress and charts its shift from liberation organization to the country's post-apartheid ruling party. Ousted president Thabo Mbeki, new leader Jacob Zuma and others offer insight into the polarizing political tug-of-war that threatens not only the ANC, but also South Africa itself.
11x14 Mine / Home (February 16, 2010)
Mine tells the poignant and powerful story of animals left behind during Katrina, and of the struggles of hurricane victims to reunite with their beloved pets. This meditation on the essential bond between humans and animals expresses the power of compassion in contemporary America. In "Home," director Matthew Faust gives an evocative archive of his family's house in Chalmette, Louisiana, flooded by Hurricane Katrina.
11x13 P-Star Rising (February 09, 2010)
This is the story of a single father who is determined that his nine-year-old daughter become a rap star and thus redeem his deferred dream. This program follows the father-daughter duo through the grit and glamour of the music industry, the struggles of being a single dad with no means and the sacrifices a child makes in order to make her daddy proud.
11x12 Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness (February 02, 2010)
Who has the authority to define your identity? Considered one of the most controversial scholars of our time, Melville Herskovits — a Jewish anthropologist — challenged the norm in the 1940s when he wrote that black culture wasn’t pathological, it was African. Leading a seismic shift in the way African American culture is understood, Herskovits’s work raises ideas that still
11x11 Copyright Criminals (January 19, 2010)
This program examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law and, of course, money. For more than 30 years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a "borrowed melody" became a "copyright infringement."
11x10 Young@Heart (January 12, 2010)
A documentary following an New England senior citizens chorus preparing a one-night-only concert of rock, punk and R&B for the town of Northampton, Massachusetts.
11x09 Scenes From a Parish (December 29, 2009)
A young, irreverent priest arrives at Saint Patrick Parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts, only to confront boiling ethnic tensions in a changing working-class community. Filmed over four years, the program follows the wildly diverse personal stories of Father Paul O'Brien and his unruly flock, as they struggle to hold onto faith in the face of desperate circumstances.
11x08 Between the Folds (December 08, 2009)
A documentary exploring the art and science of origami. / Think origami is just paper planes and cranes? Meet a determined group of theoretical scientists and fine artists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at graduate degrees to forge new lives as modern-day paper folders. Together they reinterpret the world in paper, creating a wild mix of sensibilities towards art, science, creativity and meaning.
11x07 Objectified (November 24, 2009)
Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.
11x06 No Subtitles Necessary: László and Vilmos (November 17, 2009)
They took Hollywood by storm -- escaping the brutal Soviet oppression of the Hungarian Revolution and rising to fame with classic films like Easy Rider, Deliverance, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deer Hunter. Cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond pioneered the "American New Wave." This film is a portrait of their 50-year journey and their deep bond of brotherhood.
11x05 D Tour (November 10, 2009)
When indie rock drummer Pat Spurgeon finally gets his big break, his body breaks down. Refusing to make his failing kidney a deterrent, Pat goes on tour with his band Rogue Wave: making music, searching for a donor and administering his own dialysis along the way.
11x04 Power Paths (November 03, 2009)
This program follows the efforts of American Indian tribes to bring renewable energy projects into their communities. From the Sioux tribes of Great Plains in the Midwest to the Navajo and Hopi of the Southwest, tribes are fighting to protect their land, air and water from the harmful impacts of mining and burning coal on their lands. This program documents how young Native leaders won a legal battle to close a large dirty coal plant not far from Las Vegas, which sends electricity to California.
11x03 Journals of a Wily School (October 27, 2009)
Pickpocketing is common practice in Kolkata, India. In an attempt to crack down on more serious crime, the police offer Azad, a young pickpocket, a full pardon if he helps track down more notorious criminals. Azad must choose whether he'll collaborate with the police or risk it all for life on the streets.
11x02 Butte, America (October 20, 2009)
Five generations of mining families illustrate the story of Butte, Mont., once the world's largest producer of copper. / Irish actor Gabriel Byrne narrates the tale of Butte, Montana, once the world's largest producer of copper -- the "Richest Hill on Earth," the town that "plumbed and electrified America," the Pittsburgh of the West. Butte forged a community whose toughness, vitality and solidarity speak to what's missing in America today, while raising profound questions about the costs and consequences of industrialization and use of natural resources.
11x01 Our Disappeared (September 21, 2009)
During the 1976-1983 military dictatorships in Argentina, thousands of citizens were kidnapped and never heard from again. Director Juan Mandelbaum returns to his native Argentina to discover what happened to friends and loved ones who were among the "desaparecidos." His journey reveals the depths of terror that they experienced and the continued fight for justice. Terrence Howard hosts the series.