Independent Lens Season 12
Independent Lens Season 12
First Air Date: October 19, 2010
|First Aired on||:||2010|
12x25 Two Spirits (June 14, 2011)
Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and death of a boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender.
12x24 Welcome to Shelbyville (May 24, 2011)
Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America's Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone's throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.
12x23 Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (May 17, 2011)
Beginning in the modern day and working backward, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo explores the history of Japan's love affair with bugs. Using insects like an anthropologist's toolkit, the film uncovers Japanese philosophies that will shift viewers' perspectives on nature, beauty, and life, and counter the exigencies of day-to-day life.
12x22 Bhutto (May 10, 2011)
As the first Muslim woman to lead an Islamic nation, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto evolved from a pampered princess to a polarizing politician in one of the most dangerous countries on Earth. Accused of rampant corruption, imprisoned, then exiled abroad, Bhutto was called back to Pakistan in 2007 as her country's best hope for democracy. Struck down by assassins, her untimely death sent shock waves throughout the world.
12x21 A Film Unfinished (May 03, 2011)
This haunting film about a film examines a classic Nazi propaganda movie used by historians for decades to provide insight into the realities of life in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. The recent discovery of a second reel in an East German archive has thrown the veracity and intent of the Warsaw Ghetto footage into question.
12x20 Marwencol (April 26, 2011)
After being beaten into a coma, Mark Hogancamp is left brain damaged and traumatized. He devises his own brand of therapy by constructing a 1/6th-scale World War II-era town in his backyard and weaving complex storylines around his characters. Through Marwencol, Mark embarks on a long journey back into the real world, both physically and emotionally.
12x19 Waste Land (April 19, 2011)
Artist Vik Muniz journeys from to his home country of Brazil, and to Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest garbage dump located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There Muniz photographs an eclectic band of catadores -- pickers of recyclable materials -- and works with them to "paint" their portraits using garbage. The resulting collaboration with these inspiring characters provides profoundly moving evidence of the transformative power of art and its impact on the human spirit.
12x18 Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (April 12, 2011)
In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon. Discovered in the late 1970s through his graffiti art on the Lower East Side, he sold his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200 and later became best friends with Andy Warhol. Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this documentary.
12x17 The Desert of Forbidden Art (April 05, 2011)
This story of how a treasure trove of banned Soviet art worth millions of dollars was stashed in a far-off desert of Uzbekistan develops into a larger exploration of how art survives in times of oppression.
12x16 Pushing the Elephant (March 29, 2011)
Civil war came to Rose's Congolese village, with it the nighttime arrest of her entire family, the execution of her husband and grim negotiations with guards which led to her separation from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. More than a decade later, resettled in Phoenix, Rose and her children are reunited with Nangabire. Rose emerged from her experience advocating forgiveness and reconciliation.
12x15 Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story (March 01, 2011)
At the age of 16, Cyntoia Brown, who had suffered a long history of abuse, killed a man who picked her up for sex. The filmmaker has unprecedented access to Cyntioa in prison, and spends two years with her and her family as they await her eventual sentencing to life in prison in Tennessee. This film challenges our assumptions about violence and explores how a young person can be predestined for tragedy by life circumstances.
12x14 William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (February 22, 2011)
An iconoclast who himself became an icon, William Burroughs explored the outer boundaries of culture and identity in the 1950s. His work was vilified by conservatives and banned by the U.S. government, but emerged to influence artists for generations to come. Burroughs's friends and colleagues remember the public persona and the private man.
12x13 When I Rise (February 08, 2011)
A profile of Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted University of Texas music student, who finds herself at the epicenter of racial controversy, struggling against the odds and ultimately ascending to the heights of international opera.
12x12 For Once in My Life (February 01, 2011)
Made up of 28 musicians and singers with severe mental and physical disabilities, the Spirit of Goodwill Band is a raucous home away from home where members are free to display their talent, humor, and tenacity. This film challenges preconceived notions of what it means to be disabled. / South Florida's Spirit of Goodwill Band, a music group of persons with mental and physical disabilities, as it progresses from small appearances to larger public performances, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami.
12x11 Children of Haiti (January 11, 2011)
In the midst of Haiti's lush mountains and historical relics are 500,000 orphan children who live in the streets -- known as "the soulless" and forgotten by their own people. This program follows three teenage boys -- Denick, a charming 14-year-old; Nickenson, a tough but sensitive 16-year-old; and Antoine, an energetic paint-thinner abuser -- who share a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance. Shot in the northern city of Cap-Haitien over a period of two years, this film captures the spirit of human survival.
12x10 Men Who Swim (January 04, 2011)
A group of middle-aged men who have found unlikely success as members of Sweden's all-male synchronized swimming team. What begins as a weekly escape from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities gradually evolves into a more serious commitment. Inspired by Esther Williams's techniques from the 1950s, these train engineers and meat buyers, archivists and teachers have become passionate exponents of a sport generally associated with women.
12x09 The Calling, Part 2 (December 21, 2010)
Muslim, Catholic, Evangelical Christian, and Jewish seminarians embark on their life path in a secular and cynical era. A close look at how faith is lived today. / The conclusion of "The Calling," about America's next generation of religious leaders in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths. The documentary chronicles their transformation from students to ordained religious professionals.
12x08 The Calling, Part 1 (December 20, 2010)
This mini-series follows seven Muslims, Catholics, Evangelical Christians and Jews in training to become professional clergy. Embarking on life paths that demand tremendous personal sacrifice and commitment, these seminarians must uphold timeless truths in an era that values quick fixes and hot trends, and face a public that challenges the relevance of their mission. A new look at an old job, "The Calling" takes viewers into the unknown world of seminaries to tell personal stories of how faith is lived today. (Part 1 of 2)
12x07 45365 (December 14, 2010)
An inquisitive look at everyday life in Middle America. "45365" explores the vagaries of daily life in an American town -- Sidney, Ohio. Through an intimate look at the lives and landscapes that make up this community of 20,000 people, the film captures various aspects of their shared experience. Conclusions are left to the audience as the component characters speak and act for themselves.
12x06 Deep Down (November 23, 2010)
Beverly May and Terry Ratliff grew up on opposite sides of a mountain ridge in eastern Kentucky. When a mountaintop removal coal mine encroaches on their community, the two find themselves on opposite sides of a debate that divides their community. Who controls, consumes, and benefits from the planet's dwindling supply of natural resources? In a small town in dire economic straits and high unemployment, the coal company's offer to buy land and provide jobs can be hard to resist. How can a community choose between its present and its future? Also: The Virtual Mine.
12x05 Lost Sparrow (November 16, 2010)
Filmmaker Chris Billing investigates the deaths of his adopted brothers, two Crow Indian boys who disappeared in 1978. / Some questions are never answered. Some answers are hard to take. Three decades ago, two Crow Indian brothers ran away from home and no one knew why. Their sudden and mysterious deaths sent shockwaves through a tiny upstate New York community. This program relates their adoptive brother's journey to bring Bobby and Tyler home and confront a painful truth that shattered his family.
12x04 The Longoria Affair (November 09, 2010)
Private Felix Longoria fought and died while fighting the Japanese during World War II. When his body was sent back to his small hometown in Texas, the only funeral parlor there refused to hold a wake for the Mexican American GI because "the whites would not like it." The incident would ripple outward, launching the career of Lyndon B. Johnson, landing the undertaker in a mental institution, and launching the Mexican American civil rights movement.
12x03 Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian (November 02, 2010)
The portrayal of Native Americans in cinema. / Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining, insightful, and often humorous look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema and examining the myth of "the Injun." Narrated by Diamond with infectious enthusiasm and good humor, this film is a loving look at cinema through the eyes of the people who appeared in its very first flickering images and have survived to tell their stories their own way.
12x02 Art & Copy (October 26, 2010)
A look at the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time - artists and writers who brought a rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation. "Just Do It," "I Love NY, " "Where's the Beef?," "Got Milk," "Think Different," and other brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents.
12x01 The Parking Lot Movie (October 19, 2010)
This documentary is about a singular parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the select group of parking lot attendants that inhabit its microcosm. The attendants are a uniquely varied group of men comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students, philosophers, intellectuals, musicians, artists, and marginal-type characters.