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TOPIC: Crime

Teachers Beat the “Macho Culture” in Prisons through Art Programs

In the early 2000s, Hollywood invested in the urban fairy tale where a teacher is called into the principal’s office of a school in a low-income, broken part of town and is requested to help “build character and morale.” (Think Samuel L. Jackson in Coach Carter, Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead and Hilary Swank … READ MORE

Ben Lear Shows Reality and Human Face of Juvenile Justice System

They Call Us Monsters is Ben Lear’s first film as director, but he’s not new to the business. Yes, Ben is the son of trailblazing TV producer-writer Norman Lear of All in the Family and Good Times fame (and you can read more about their relationship and how proud they are of each other in this … READ MORE

The Prison Economy: How Do Prisons Affect the Places We Live?

The new film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, premiering on PBS, Monday, May 8 [check local listings], examines the effect prisons have on the communities around them in both positive and negative ways. Prisons can stimulate the economy and create jobs, but they also loom monolithically over our lives. The United States locks up a lot … READ MORE

Canadian Filmmaker Explores American Prison System’s Long Reach

Canadian filmmaker Brett Story was recently awarded the inaugural New Visions Award from Canada’s DOC Institute, who wrote of her, “Watching Story’s socially engaged but visually driven work provides ample evidence that she was an obvious choice for the award, given to an emerging professional filmmaker who demonstrates a keen artistic sensibility and potential to lead … READ MORE

Filmmaker James Solomon Peels Back the Mythology of the Kitty Genovese Story

The Witness (which premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens Monday, January 23, 2017; check local listings) may be James Solomon’s first film as director, but his vast experience as a storyteller made him the perfect fit for reopening this case. The Witness, which made the Oscar shortlist, took 11 years to make, patiently following Kitty Genovese’s brother … 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

Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber Capture a Man on a Mission

Utah-based filmmakers Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber found a supremely compelling story right in their own backyard for their film Peace Officer. The film is several things at once: a personal journey with a man who experienced a tragedy, former sheriff “Dub” Lawrence who established and trained one of Utah’s first SWAT teams, only to see that … 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. In conjunction with the PBS broadcast premieres of the documentaries Peace Officer (airs Monday, May 9 at 9pm) and The Armor of Light (airs Tuesday, May 10 at 8pm) in a two-part special “Armed in America,” we … 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

Human Rights Lawyer Philippe Sands Confronts Children of Nazis with Painful Past

While some might call Philippe Sands the on-screen host of My Nazi Legacy, the new film by David Evans that is based on Sands’ new book, he’s actually the probing, searching journalistic heart at the center of this powerful documentary. The book, East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, published … READ MORE