About This Program
Through the lens of independent documentaries, America ReFramed brings to national audiences compelling stories that illuminate the changing contours of an ever-evolving America. The social-issue documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future.
With weekly independent films, sometimes followed by provocative conversations led by host/moderator Natasha Del Toro, this series offers an unfiltered look at people rarely given a voice on national television.
America ReFramed is co-produced by American Documentary, Inc. and WORLD Channel.
Episodes from Season 5
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez
The personal is political. BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez is a portrait of the artist, revealing her uncompromising life as she raised her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and world peace. The film captures Sanchez's commitment to cultural specificity while connecting history and humanities to the mainstream.
A New Color - The Art of Being Edythe Boone
The life and work of self-taught artist Edythe Boone. Filmed over five years, follow the spirited and captivating septuagenarian who became an artist/activist simply because empowering and building community is “the right thing to do.” Ultimately, Boone’s mission is to empower individuals and transform communities through art and activism.
70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green
Explores the effects of the Plan for Transformation, an order requiring the demolition of Chicago’s public housing high rises, and the building of mixed-income condominiums. 70 Acres in Chicago illuminates the layers of socio-economic forces, and the questions behind urban redevelopment and gentrification taking place in U.S. cities today.
Chronicling the ongoing conflict over the issue of tribal rights between the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Freedmen, descendants of African American slaves. By Blood explores a largely untold history and the impact of a battle over race, identity, and the sovereign rights of Native American people.
In the Game
“In life you deal with what’s dealt your way. When you get knocked down, just get up right away. Never give up.” In the Game follows a girls’ soccer team in an inner-city Chicago high school to reveal the obstacles confronted by Latinas as they seek an education amid issues of class and gender in the working class Brighton Park neighborhood.
In 2012, The Vatican censured American nuns. Radical Grace follows three U.S. nuns, who refused to back down and continued to challenge the patriarchal system, are willing to lose it all and risk their place within the Catholic Church for their devotion to social justice and to meet their higher calling - to apply their faith to action.
Divide in Concord
Divide in Concord is an engaging tale about a contemporary debate: individual freedom vs. collective responsibility, and how this relates to American democracy. Driving the debate is a fiery 84-year-old grandmother, who presents a bylaw to ban the sale of single-serve plastic water bottles. But can one person take on the bottled water industry?
Enter the Faun
The culmination of an intensive two-year collaboration between veteran choreographer Tamar Rogoff and Gregg Mozgala, an actor with cerebral palsy. Their creative exploration, at the intersection of science and art, led them to discover that his diagnosis and physical limitations were not necessarily fixed and immutable.
If You Build It
Follow designers-educators-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina. They work doggedly to persuade a school board to invest in their goal of offering a compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom in which students learn how to use the tools of design to build their own futures.
Reversing the Mississippi
In Missouri, social innovator Marcin Jakubowski's Global Village Construction Set provides free blueprints to fabricate everything needed for a self-sustaining village. In New Orleans, Nat Turner teaches kids how to work the land, but has limited resources and broken equipment. If these two men meet might they be able to make real change?
Today, the Inupiaq Eskimo must navigate an uncertain future 80 miles above the Arctic Circle on a fragile barrier island disappearing due to climate change. Kivalina is a quiet but stirring portrait immersing viewers into the rarely seen lives of an Arctic tribe who try to continue to honor their way of life despite the government failing them.
Class of '27
In rural America, children face the prospect of a compromised future. United by hope, inspiration and resiliency, Class of '27 focuses on early childhood education in struggling communities, highlighting the efforts of families, educators and leaders working to get their youngest children on track toward graduating from high school.
“How do you survive when you belong nowhere?” Poet Kosal Khiev was lucky to escape war-torn Cambodia before he was two but deported to the country he’s never known after 14 years in jail. Follow a year in the life of the poet while he navigates his new fame as Phnom Penh’s premiere poet and receives the most important invitation of his career.
Good Luck Soup
For filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi, growing up half Japanese/half Italian in a white Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, was a difficult experience. In Good Luck Soup, Hashiguchi sets out on a journey to discover how the rest of his multi-racial family made sense of their lives and their Japanese American heritage.
Things happen to you when you're a kid..."and you make sense of it after." Two decades after his parents' deaths, Dinesh Sabu is worried that he has no memories of his mother and father. It's a journey that takes him back to India, a country he barely knows, and it forces him to think about the mental illness that seems to run in his family.
Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story
Eddy Zheng came to America with his family when he was 12 years old. Then at 16, he committed a horrible crime: home invasion and kidnapping. Year after year he hoped for parole, and after almost 20 years in prison, Zheng was released, a model prisoner who wanted to become a community leader. But his victims insisted he should still be deported.
The Last Season
Each September, the town of Chemult, Oregon is flooded with mushroom hunters. Many are immigrants from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand who entered the U.S. as refugees in the 1980s. Here, veterans Kouy Loch and Roger Higgins find more than just the rare matsutake in the woods; they create a familial bond and a means to slowly heal the wounds of war.