About This Program
Independent Lens is television's largest showcase of independent documentary films made by some of the best independent filmmakers working today. The award-winning series introduces an incredible array of unique characters from in the United States and around the world, bringing their rich stories to even wider, more diverse audiences while engaging communities in conversations and providing an authentic space for many voices.
Independent Lens is produced by the Independent Television Service.
Episodes from Season 14 - W/S (2016-2017)
Independent Lens: Meet the Patels
A real-life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an Indian American actor/comedian who enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams — and his parents. In what started as a family video, this warmly humorous film filled with unique animation and a soulful soundtrack reveals how, for a Patel, love is truly a family affair.
Independent Lens: Containment
How can we contain some of the deadliest, most long-lasting substances ever produced? Left over from the Cold War are a hundred million gallons of radioactive sludge. Containment explores our attempts to plan for our radioactive future and reveals the startling failure to manage waste in the present, epitomized by the Fukushima disaster.
Independent Lens: What Was Ours
For the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, new contact with lost artifacts risks opening old wounds but also offer the possibility for healing. A journalist, powwow princess and elder search for missing artifacts in the archives of a museum and discover ancestral objects, setting them on a journey to recover what has been lost.
Independent Lens: The Witness
In March 1964, Kitty Genovese was repeatedly stabbed on a street in Kew Gardens, Queens. The Witness follows the efforts of Kitty’s brother as he launches his own investigation into his sister’s life and death. In the process, he makes startling discoveries about the crime that transformed his life, condemned a city and defined an era.
Independent Lens: Birth of a Movement
In 1915, African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith’s notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly blockbuster The Birth of a Nation, which unleashed a fight still raging today about race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood.
Independent Lens: Accidental Courtesy
Musician Daryl Davis has played all over the world with legends like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. He also has an unusual and controversial hobby. Daryl likes to meet and befriend members of the KKK, many of whom have never met a black person. When some of these same people decide to leave the Klan, Daryl keeps their robes and hoods.
Independent Lens: TOWER
On August 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. TOWER is the gripping story of America's first mass school shooting.