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All posts by Rebecca Huval

A Documentarian Reflects on the Sikh Shootings

Filmmaker Sharat Raju is no stranger to the misperceptions that haunt the Sikh community. In 2003, he wrote and directed the Independent Lens short fiction film American Made about a Sikh family stranded in the desert. After the family’s car breaks down, passersby are reluctant to give them a ride because of the father’s turban. … READ MORE

Watch a Film, Be the Change!

Hey guess what? If you like watching our amazing films on TV, you can also see them on the big screen for free thanks to our Community Cinema program. Independent Lens documentaries are released ahead of broadcast to more than 100 venues around the country. You are hereby invited to join us, watch with your … READ MORE

What Does an Athlete Look Like? 11 Exceptional Elites

Before Olympians in London chalk their hands and brace themselves against the starting block, they overcome life’s hurdles. Some of the most challenging may be society’s assumptions about what constitutes athleticism, or what sports are appropriate for a given type of person. But the competitive spirit can’t be limited by gender, religion, weight, disability, or … READ MORE

Whatever Happened to … the Garbage Pickers from Waste Land?

What could be more embarrassing than hosting the UN Conference on Sustainable Development with the world’s largest dump festering in your backyard? That’s why the Rio +20 conference (June 20-22) prompted Rio de Janeiro to close its Jardim Gramacho landfill, which had been oozing toxic waste into sensitive marshland for 34 years. While it is … READ MORE

Explainer: How Can You Be Half-American and Still Not a Citizen?

Born abroad? You might not be welcomed aboard. To gain U.S. citizenship, applicants might need more than an American parent. This explainer walks you through the laws that surround this week’s show, Left by the Ship (airing May 24 on Independent Lens — check local listings). If you know anyone who’s applied for U.S. citizenship, you’ve … READ MORE

Nomads’ Land Interactive Map

Our ancestors were nomads, but today, out of 6.8 billion people, only 30 million lead migratory lives. Summer Pasture (tonight on Independent Lens at 10 PM  — check local listings ) spotlights a nomadic family in the grasslands of Dzachukha in eastern Tibet. Locho, his wife Yama, and their infant daughter depend on yaks for their survival, but Dzachukha is … READ MORE

8 Small Circuses that Rival the Biggest Big Tops

The circus has existed in some form since before the birth of Caesar. This week, Independent Lens will focus on a modern day Big Top — Circo (airing May 3 – check local listings) follows a small family circus in Mexico’s struggling economy. The Ponces train their children as contortionists, death-defying motorcyclists, and lion handlers, but the vagabonding … READ MORE

Facing the Storm: A Buffalo (News) Roundup!

To celebrate Earth Day, we ask, “Where do the buffalo roam?” Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison (airing April 26, check local listings) follows the American West’s relationship with the largest land mammal on the continent. In the early 19th century, 30 million buffalo inhabited the Great Plains, and the Native Americans revered them. … READ MORE

Updates from the Tucson Unified School District

Since the cameras stopped rolling on the documentary Precious Knowledge (premiering May 17 on Independent Lens), the Tucson Unified School District has been all over the news. Precious Knowledge follows the student backlash from a school board decision to dismantle the Mexican American Studies program. Catch up on the whole story with our handy guide to the … READ MORE