Independent Lens

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


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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 16
    • Limited Partnership
      The story of Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan, one of the first same-sex couples to be legally wed. The year: 1975. The place: Boulder, where, for a brief time, the county clerk issued marriage licenses to gays. They later sued the U.S. government when the Australian-born Sullivan was denied a green card. The obscene response they received from the INS questioned whether gays could form a "bona fide marital relationship." In fact, they could: their union lasted until Adams passed away in 2012.moreless
    • 1971
      Episode 17
    • Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity
      Examining daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her STREB Extreme Action Company. Included: the evolution of her philosophy, which challenges assumptions about art, aging, injury, gender and human possibility.
    • Kumu Hina
      Kumu Hina
      Episode 15
      A native Hawaiian mahu (transgender) teacher inspires a tomboyish girl to become the leader of an all-male hula troupe.
    • The Great Invisible
      An overview of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, featuring first-hand accounts and news footage of the tragedy and its aftermath. Included: remarks from Deepwater Horizon chief mechanic Douglas Harold Brown; author Robert L. Cavnar ("Disaster on the Horizon"); Keith Jones, the father of one of the men killed on the rig; and tugboat captain Latham Smith, who was hired to help with the cleanup effort.moreless
    • The Homestretch
      The Homestretch
      Episode 13
      Three homeless Chicago teens strive to graduate from high school despite the difficulties inherent in their situations.
    • Little Hope Was Arson; A City in Flames
      The investigation into a spate of church burnings that occured in East Texas during January and February 2010 is chronicled.
    • Little White Lie
    • American Denial
      American Denial
      Episode 10
      An exploration of race in America that juxtaposes Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal's landmark 1944 study of segregation, "An American Dilemma," with modern life. Included: archival footage and news reports; home movies from the 1930s and '40s; and results from psychological tests of racial attitudes.
    • Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
    • The Kill Team; Confusion Through Sand
    • Evolution of a Criminal
      In "Evolution of a Criminal," filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe explores what drove him, at age 16, to rob a bank. To that end, he talks with family and friends; former classmates; teachers; law enforcement officials; and folks who were in the bank during the robbery.
    • Rich Hill
      Rich Hill
      Episode 6
      The award-winning "Rich Hill" explores life in small-town America through the eyes of three teen boys in Rich Hill, Mo., a once-vibrant mining town that, like many of the families that call it home, has fallen on hard times. The boys include Appachey, 13, who is vulnerable, intelligent and prone to acting out; Harley, 15, who lives with his grandmother because his mother is in prison; and Andrew, 14, whose family frequently moves due to money problems.moreless
    • Happiness
      Episode 5
      A look at how technology is changing lives in ancient societies, focusing on a 9-year-old Bhutanese boy whose world is transformed by the arrival of electricity in the rural village of Laya. As if that's not enough, his worldview expands when he and his uncle head to the bustling capital city of Thimphu, which features heavy traffic, indoor plumbing and nightclubs, to buy a television.moreless
    • Powerless
      Episode 4
      A look at the ongoing electricity shortage in Kanpur, India, an industrial town where frequent power outages can last upwards of 15 hours a day. The documentary focuses on a Robin Hood-esque electrician who reroutes wires to deliver electricity to the needy; and the head of the local electric company who is on a mission to stop the theft of electricity.moreless
    • Brakeless
      Episode 3
    • Twin Sisters
      Twin Sisters
      Episode 2
      "Twin Sisters" tells the story of Mia and Alexandra, identical twins from China who were adopted as infants by different families—one from Norway and the other from Sacramento. The adopted mothers had met during the adoption process and noticed their similarities; a year later, after DNA tests proved what they suspected, the families set out for the siblings to stay in touch. And when the girls reunite at age 8, despite differences in their upbringings, they prove to be remarkably similar.moreless
    • Bully
      Episode 1
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