Season 12 - W/S (2013-2014)
About This Series
Airing weekly on the PBS primetime schedule, Independent Lens is television's largest showcase of independent documentary film. Each week we bring you another original documentary film, made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today. In its first eleven seasons, Independent Lens received 7 Emmy Awards, 10 Peabody Awards, 5 duPont Awards, and has been nominated for 7 Academy Awards.
"Now in our 12th season, Independent Lens aims to be the best showcase of documentary film, representing the breadth of work being done by filmmakers from across the spectrum of documentary genres," said Lois Vossen, series producer. "We’re focused on working with diverse filmmakers, and bringing stories to underrepresented audiences. Independent Lens champions high-quality journalism along with point of view documentaries. Our goal is to help viewers better understand today’s complex world by taking them to places they wouldn't otherwise see, and encounter people they wouldn't otherwise meet."
Independent Lens: At Berkeley
Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman goes back to school for this intimate yet sprawling film about the University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten campus public education system.
Independent Lens: Blood Brother
An intimate portrait of Rocky Braat, who travels to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he meets a group of HIV-positive children living at an AIDS hostel, a place of unspeakable hardship, he decides to stay and devote his life to them.
Independent Lens: The State of Arizona
The turbulent battle over illegal immigration in Arizona that came to a head with Senate Bill 1070 frames this riveting documentary tracking multiple perspectives — activists, politicians, Latino immigrants, controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ranchers, and others — as America eyes the results.
Independent Lens: Spies of Mississippi
Revealing the full scope of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission’s efforts to preserve segregation during the 1950s and ‘60s — when its network of informants spied on over 87,000 Americans — as it covered up violence and murder in order to preserve the status quo.
Independent Lens: Las Marthas
In the lingering aftermath of the U.S.-Mexican War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.
Independent Lens: All of Me: A Story of Love, Loss, and Last Resorts
The "Girls" have been friends -- and morbidly obese -- for years. They are smart, intuitive, complex, warm, and compelling and speak openly about their inner lives. But now, having weight-loss surgery is about to upset everything they thought they knew about health, happiness, friendship and love.
Independent Lens: Medora
A once-booming rural community with a thriving middle class has seen its factories and farms close as the population dwindles. A deeply personal look at small-town life, Medora follows a down-but-not-out varsity basketball team as its struggles to compete parallel the town’s own fight for survival.
Independent Lens: Brothers Hypnotic
Subjects of a utopian family experiment, the eight men of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble were forged into a band as kids by their father, jazz maverick Phil Cohran. Now making their way in the music business, they test their father's ideals against their own brotherly vision as they tour and work to carve out their own renown around the world.
Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali
The story of the famed boxer's toughest bout of all: his battle to overturn the prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The film explores Ali's exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.
Independent Lens: Muscle Shoals
In this joyful film, Gregg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals's magnetism, mystery, and why it remains influential today.
Independent Lens: A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times
A Fragile Trust tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism.
Independent Lens: Let the Fire Burn
Using archival news coverage and interviews for a past in present tense approach, the film brings to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern U.S. history, as a feud between the city of Philadelphia and the radical urban group MOVE came to a climax. Let the fire burn...
Independent Lens: God Loves Uganda
A journey into the heart of East Africa, where Ugandan and American pastors spread evangelical values to millions desperate for a better life. Inspired by his own African American Baptist roots, director Roger Ross Williams explores a place where religion and African culture intersect, with some unstable, even violent consequences.
Independent Lens: The New Black
Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, The New Black takes viewers into the pews, the streets, and kitchen tables to look at how the African American community grapples with the gay rights issue.