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Independent Lens

Season 7 2005 - 2006

  • 2005-10-12T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 60 mins
  • 1 day, 5 hours, 0 mins
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, Drama

This acclaimed Emmy Award-winning anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. INDEPENDENT LENS features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. The series is supported by interactive companion Web sites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Acclaimed actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci hosts the series.

29 episodes

7x01 Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove

  • Season Premiere

    2005-10-12T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

“One Nation Under a Groove,” a profile of Parliament Funkadelic that features animation (including an “Afronaut” character voiced by Eddie Griffin) to explore P-Funk's unique mix of rock and R&B, and its rebellious vibe---tightly controlled by mastermind George Clinton, whose 50-year career links doo-wop and hip-hop. “It was just a party,” says singer Nona Hendryx

7x02 En Route to Baghdad

  • 2005-10-19T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Vieira de Mello, who devoted his life to global humanitarian efforts, was killed in Iraq in 2003.

7x03 The Last Cowboy

  • 2005-10-26T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Vernon Sager is a cowboy struggling to survive in Porcupine, South Dakota, in this story of real cowboys and Indians living in the middle of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Winters with temperatures that reach 30 degrees below zero and summers with prairie fires and frying-pan heat have pushed most of Sager's family and friends off the land. But Vernon still gets up at 3:00 a.m. to saddle his horse and count calves. This program is the real-deal Rawhide, the story of people fighting to preserve a vanishing way of life.

7x04 A Family at War

  • 2005-11-09T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

When one American family loses their son in the Iraq war, their lives -- and views -- are irrevocably changed. Danish filmmakers follow the Kaylor family over the course of a year, tracing their individual reactions and changing attitudes on the military and global politics.

7x05 Mirror Dance

  • 2005-11-16T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

Identical twins Margarita and Ramona de Saa became acclaimed ballerinas with the National Ballet of Cuba. Once inseparable, their relationship disintegrated as one sister left for America while the other embraced the Cuban revolution. This program is the story of two women forever linked by birth and dance, but struggling to overcome rifts not only between sisters but also between nations.

7x06 Race is the Place

  • 2005-11-23T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

How do American artists address our nation's most pressing social issue? Using spoken, sung and chanted word, African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American authors, performance artists, poets and singers explore the pain, frustration and humor of racism in America.

7x07 Maid in America

  • 2005-11-30T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

As three of the thousands of Latina immigrants working as nannies and housekeepers in Los Angeles, Judith, Telma and Eva have all left family and friends behind to come to America. This program reveals the challenges these women face as they pursue the American Dream, their significant roles in American households and the globalization of motherhood.

7x08 Seoul Train

  • 2005-12-14T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

This film explores the plight of North Korean refugees trying to escape their homeland and China, and tells the story of activists who put themselves in harm's way to save them via a clandestine underground railroad.

This documentary follows the lives of the women of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. The story is told by the Sisters themselves -- at work, prayer and leisure -- as they pursue a balanced life based on the Rule of St. Benedict and face an uncertain future with spirit, conviction and wit.

7x10 Short Stack: Lost & Found

  • 2005-12-28T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

They don't make "buddy movies" like this in Hollywood. Independent Lens presents five short films that focus on a pivotal moment in a friendship: "Agora," by Christopher Newberry; "John and Michael," by Shira Avni; "Miracle Mile," by Dong Hyeuk Hwang; "The Raftsman's Razor," by Keith Bearden; and "Reservation Warparties," by Angelique Midthunder.

7x11 Sheriff

  • 2006-01-04T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

With the help of God, guns and the hundreds of blood relatives that populate his jurisdiction, Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett oversees Brunswick County, North Carolina, a rural region fraught with murder, robbery and the occasional theft of ceramic lawn ornaments. SHERIFF is pure cinema verite, an unexpected portrait of a man trying to do good in a bad world.

7x12 Girl Trouble

  • 2006-01-18T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

Shot over four years, GIRL TROUBLE is the story of three girls entangled in San Francisco's juvenile justice system. Documenting the girls' remarkable successes and heartbreaking setbacks -- their struggles with poverty, parenthood, violence and homelessness -- it exposes a system that fails to meet the need of girls in trouble.

Credited with inspiring the Black Power movement, Robert Williams led his North Carolina hometown to defend itself against the Ku Klux Klan and challenge repressive Jim Crow laws. This program follows Williams' journey from southern community leader to exile in Cuba and China, a journey that brought the issue of armed self-defense to the forefront of the civil rights movement.

7x14 July '64

  • 2006-02-15T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

In the summer of 1964, a three-night riot erupted in two predominantly black neighborhoods in downtown Rochester, New York, the culmination of decades of poverty, joblessness and racial discrimination and a significant event in the civil rights era. Using archival footage and interviews with those who were present, this program explores the genesis and outcome of these three devastating nights.

7x15 Almost Home

  • 2006-02-22T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

Shot on location in a nursing home, ALMOST HOME tells the real stories of aging: couples both bonded and divided by disability, children torn between caring for their parents and their children, nursing assistants doing unsavory work for poverty wages, healthy elders fearful of moving to the dreaded nursing home and a visionary nursing home director committed to changes that would shuck the nursing home stigma and alleviate such dread.

7x16 The Loss of Nameless Things

  • 2006-03-01T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 1978, Oakley Hall was a promising playwright on the verge of national recognition when a mysterious fall violently transformed his life. This program is the haunting story of a young man's fall from grace, of the vibrant artists who surrounded him and what happens when, decades later, a theater company discovers the very play he was writing the night he fell.

7x17 Troop 1500

  • 2006-03-22T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

A Girl Scout troop unites daughters with mothers convicted of serious crimes in a Texas prison.

They faced death threats on the job -- from some of the men they worked with. With the story of Lt. Brenda Berkman of the Fire Department of New York at its core, this film explores the history of women firefighters in America and the price these women have paid to serve their communities.

7x19 Trudell

  • 2006-04-12T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Native American activist and poet John Trudell fuses radical politics with music, writing and art.

7x20 La Sierra

  • 2006-04-19T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

La Sierra, a small neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia, is ruled by a group of young men, mostly teenagers, affiliated with Colombia's illegal paramilitary armies. Over one year, this program follows the lives of three of these young people -- two of them paramilitaries themselves -- as they experience war, death and love.

7x21 A League of Ordinary Gentlemen

  • 2006-04-26T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Tracing the history of professional bowling in America, from its glory days in the 1950s to its near extinction by the late 1990s, this program follows four pro bowlers as Professional Bowlers Association CEO Steve Miller sets out to modernize the sport.

7x22 Music from the Inside Out

  • 2006-05-03T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

The intersection of art and life are at the core of this program, a musical journey featuring the 105 musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The film focuses on the mystery and magic of music itself, creating a mosaic of the stories, ideas and experiences that form the heart of these musicians' lives inside and outside the concert hall.

7x23 Fishbowl / American Made

  • 2006-05-10T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

FISHBOWL: In the sleepy plantation town of Hilo, Hawaii, 11-year-old Lovey is trying to be anything but herself. In this dramatic short adapted from Lois-Ann Yamanaka's "Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers," Lovey's comical -- and often painful -- quest culminates in one fateful Halloween night. AMERICAN MADE: Trapped in the middle of the desert on their way to the Grand Canyon, a Sikh-American family has only one hope: the remote highway and the occasional car that drives by. This program confronts issues of tradition, faith, conformity and sacrifice after the family's youngest son accuses his turban-clad orthodox father of looking like a terrorist while stranded on a remote desert road.

7x24 Frozen Angels

  • 2006-05-17T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

This program presents the future of human reproduction available today in Los Angeles. With dreamlike cinematography, the film takes a roller-coaster ride through the business of DNA from different perspectives: wealthy sperm bank presidents, expectant surrogate mothers, gene designers, hate radio talk show hosts, infertile suburban couples, now-adult designer babies, blonde and blue-eyed egg donors and feminist lawyers.

7x25 The Devil's Miner

  • 2006-05-24T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Two young Bolivian brothers brave deadly conditions in mining tunnels to earn money for school.

7x26 The Great Pink Scare

  • 2006-06-07T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Explores the fierce clash between an individual's right to privacy & concerns for national security.

7x27 The Real Dirt on Farmer John

  • 2006-06-14T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

This is the epic tale of Farmer John, a maverick Midwestern farmer who -- in spite of the condemnation from his community -- bravely transforms his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors and arson. In doing so, he creates a bastion of free expression and a revolutionary form of agriculture in rural America.

7x28 A Lion in the House: Part 1

  • 2006-06-22T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

This inspiring film follows five children as they fight cancer with the help of their families, nurses and doctors. This harrowing and intimate series spans six years to chronicle how families respond to crises, how courage is found in unlikely places and how the humor and energy of youth can be powerful medicine.

7x29 A Lion in the House: Part 2

  • 2006-06-23T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

This inspiring film follows five children as they fight cancer with the help of their families, nurses and doctors. This harrowing and intimate series spans six years to chronicle how families respond to crises, how courage is found in unlikely places and how the humor and energy of youth can be powerful medicine.