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Independent Lens

Tuesday 10:00 PM on PBS Premiered Aug 09, 1999 In Season


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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/18/2016

Season 17 : Episode 15

Next Episode

AIRS ON 5/2/2016

Season 17 : Episode 16

Episode Guide

  • Specials
    • No episodes have been added for this season of Independent Lens.
  • Season 19
    • No episodes have been added for this season of Independent Lens.
  • Season 17
    • The Armor of Light
      The Armor of Light
      Episode 18
      Evangelical minister Rob Schenck, an anti-abortion activist, breaks with orthodoxy—and risks alienating longtime friends—when he questions if being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. Joining his crusade: Lucy McBath, whose son was fatally shot in Florida in a case that cast a spotlight on Florida's "stand your ground" law.
    • Peace Officer
      Peace Officer
      Episode 17
      William "Dub" Lawrence, a former sheriff in Utah who established the state's first SWAT team in the 1970s, examines the impact of militarized police tactics while trying to discern what led to the death of his son-in-law, who was killed following a domestic-disturbance incident in 2008 by the very SWAT team Lawrence created.moreless

      My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did
      Niklas Frank and Horst von Wachter, each of whom are sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, travel throughout Europe—and reflect on their personal histories—with human-rights attorney Philippe Sands, who lost many family members in the Holocaust. Frank has no problem denouncing his father, who was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg and executed in 1945; von Wachter, however, sticks to a belief that his father was a decent man in a bad situation.moreless
    • Democrats/Soft Vengeance
    • Welcome to Leith
    • An Honest Liar
      An Honest Liar
      Episode 13
      Profiling magician James "the Amazing" Randi, who's known for debunking the paranormal and pseudoscience claims made by faith healers, fortunetellers and psychics. Included: remarks from Adam Savage; Penn & Teller; Bill Nye; Uri Geller; and Alice Cooper.
    • Wilhemina's War
      Wilhemina's War
      Episode 12
      The story of a 62-year-old family matriarch in rural South Carolina. The uneducated daughter of sharecroppers, she's seen the scourge of HIV up close: five family members have the virus, including her daughter and granddaughter. The documentary also examines the challenges of providing testing for and treatment of HIV in poor communities, where access to health care is sparse; and details the consequences of the state's decision to reject the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion provision.moreless
    • (T)ERROR
      Episode 11
      A veteran counterterrorism informant takes on what he says is his final job for the FBI: befriending a suspected jihadist. Unbeknownst to his superiors, he invites the filmmakers to document his mission; and, unbeknownst to him, the filmmakers reach out to the target, a white Muslim convert, when he posts to social media that he believes he's being set up by the FBI.moreless
    • A Ballerina's Tale
      A profile of Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, who learned she had six fractures in her left shin after reaching a career pinnacle—dancing the lead in "Firebird" at the Metropolitan Opera House. The film chronicles her recovery, emergence as a pop-culture celebrity and performance in "Swan Lake." Also: the lack of women of color at major ballet companies; and how ballet's emphasis on thin bodies impacts the health of dancers.moreless
    • No Mas Bebes (No More Babies)
      The story of Mexican immigrant women who claim they were coerced into being sterilized while giving birth at L.A. County-USC Medical Center during the 1960s and '70s.
    • In Football We Trust
      The Polynesian pipeline to the NFL is examined via the stories of four high-school players in Utah, each of whom face numerous off-field obstacles.
    • Autism in Love
      Autism in Love
      Episode 6
      Four adults on the autism spectrum share their experiences as they navigate the world of romantic relationships. Two, Dave and Lindsey, have been together for eight years, and have come to accept each other's quirks and ways of communicating. Lenny, who lives with his mom, struggles to meet and date girls. And Stephen, who's been married for 20 years, faces a sad challenge: helping his wife Gita, who's been diagnosed with a terminal illness.moreless
    • Chuck Norris vs. Communism
      "Chuck Norris vs. Communism" examines the role that Hollywood action-adventure movies played in fomenting revolution in 1980s-era Romania, a cloistered country behind the Iron Curtain led by dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-89). The films, which starred the likes of Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone, were smuggled into the country and dubbed into Romanian; and while they weren't five-star flicks, they showed the five-star life led by those in the West, including supermarkets full of food.moreless
    • East of Salinas
      East of Salinas
      Episode 4
      "East of Salinas" documents the story of a bright third grader and his teacher in California's Salinas Valley. Born in Mexico, José has attended seven schools in three years; and his family shares an apartment with another family. His parents are undocumented, which means his—and their—future in the U.S. is anything but secure. His teacher, Oscar Ramos, who was also born to migrant workers, faces his own set of challenges, including educating students who often come to school hungry.moreless
    • Mimi and Dona
    • India's Daughter
      India's Daughter
      Episode 2
      The story of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student who was brutally raped and murdered in 2012 India. She had sought a better life for herself, her family and country, and hoped one day to build a free hospital in her parents' village. The documentary also explores the motivations and values of the six men who raped her via interviews with their family members and lawyers; and spotlights activists who are seeking to improve the realities faced by women within India's patriarchal society.moreless
    • Stray Dog
      Stray Dog
      Episode 1
      The Season 17 premiere profiles Vietnam veteran Ron "Stray Dog" Hall, a burly biker from southern Missouri who owns and operates an RV park. The film accompanies him on a journey with other vets to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and also explores his home life, where he faces typical pressures, including economic. He's also newly married to a Mexican woman; and the arrival of her twin sons spotlights the gap between the America immigrants see and reality of modern rural life.moreless
  • Season 16
  • Season 15
  • Season 12
  • Season 11
  • Season 10
  • Season 9
  • Season 8
  • Season 7
  • Season 6
  • Season 5
  • Season 4
  • Season 3
  • Season 2
  • Season 1
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