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TOPIC: Civil Liberties

Takeovers and Occupations: A Survey of American Mini-Rebellions and Political Stands

In the Independent Lens No Man’s Land, we get a fly on the wall sense of the tense armed takeover and 41-day standoff at Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge, led by rancher Ammon Bundy and his militia. Before it was all over, 26 people were arrested and charged with felony conspiracy against the government for their roles … READ MORE

Documentarian Ventures into the “No Man’s Land” of Malheur Takeover

Documentarian David Garrett Byars is making his feature film debut with No Man’s Land, but he’s made short films before. including Recapture, a short documentary chronicling the attempt of right-wing activists to reclaim the federally-managed Recapture Canyon in southern Utah. Clearly that experience informed–and provides a nice segue–to No Man’s Land, which provides a tense fly-on-the-wall … READ MORE

Director Finds Real Life Superheroes with “Conviction”

Filmmaker Jamie Meltzer, also the program director of the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University, has made acclaimed films about a wide collection of topics, from song-poems to Nollywood (Nigerian) film to FBI informants, but each tells a very human and compelling story. And his new film, the Tribeca Special Jury Award-winning True … READ MORE

Balancing Along the Thin Blue Line, Filmmaker Captures Police Force at an Explosive Time

A follow-up to his acclaimed, Independent Spirit Truer than Fiction Award-winning film The Waiting Room (Independent Lens, 2013), Pete Nicks’ The Force is part of a trilogy of films he’s making which are ostensibly about Oakland, where he’s based, but in a much larger sense are also about wholly American institutions — a hospital emergency room (and … READ MORE

Dawn Porter Unlocks the Story of Laws Targeting Abortion Providers

Filmmaker Dawn Porter has shown a willingness to probe uncomfortable truths and untold stories in the past. LA Times critic Robert Lloyd called her acclaimed Independent Lens film Spies of Mississippi “eye-opening” for its look at the ways civil rights activists were spied on by the government in the ’50s and ’60s. For her new film, TRAPPED, Porter returns to the … READ MORE

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: What the Supreme Court Is Deciding in the Most Important Abortion Ruling in Decades (Updated)

By Marcia Coyle @MarciaCoyle Guest Contributor, National Law Journal By the end of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide its first abortion case in nine years. At the center is reproductive healthcare provider Whole Woman’s Health, the subject of the upcoming Independent Lens film, TRAPPED. The ruling could be the most important abortion decision in more than 20 … READ MORE

Armed in America: Faith & Guns

Join PBS for a town hall conversation about gun violence and the moral obligation to prevent it. Armed in America: Faith & Guns, a one-hour special event moderated by award-winning journalist Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” explores the relationship between faith and guns in America. Reverend Rob Schenck and Lucy McBath participate in this conversation, along with … READ MORE

Armed in America: Police & Guns

Join PBS for a town hall conversation examining the militarization of police and the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Armed in America: Police & Guns, a one-hour special event moderated by award-winning journalist Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” explores whether U.S. police forces are becoming increasingly militarized. Among those that participated in this conversation are … READ MORE

Abigail Disney Wields the Power of Dialogue with The Armor of Light

Abigail Disney (her grandfather was Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother and co-founder of the Walt Disney Company, just to get that out of the way) has long been a producer of award-winning documentaries, including producing Pray the Devil Back to Hell, The Invisible War (Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated film for Independent Lens, 2013), and the five-part PBS special series Women, War … READ MORE

Gun Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Guns in America?

No matter what your stance is on gun ownership, you may be surprised to learn the real trends fueling the debate. We created this gun quiz to test your knowledge about America’s firearm history, laws, and use, as well as the increasing militarization of police. Just as some of these topics have no easy answers, this quiz, … READ MORE

PBS to Present “Armed in America” Town Halls, a Special Two-Night Event After Independent Lens

PBS will present ARMED IN AMERICA, a special two-night television event exploring the nation’s rising gun violence, is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, May 9-10, 2016. Armed in America centers around two acclaimed documentaries presented by Independent Lens: Peace Officer, about a former sheriff who, after establishing and training Utah’s first SWAT team, raises questions about the dangers … READ MORE