Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter Quiz

It was 50 years ago that the Black Panther Party, originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was formed in Oakland, California by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The Black Panther Party organized armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of local police and to challenge police brutality in Oakland. As detailed in Stanley Nelson’s film The Black … READ MORE

Stanley Nelson Reveals the Real Black Panther Party

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who won an Emmy for the PBS documentary The Murder of Emmett Till, three Emmys for Freedom Riders, and made an acclaimed film about Marcus Garvey, has for years aimed his probing but fair-minded lens on civil rights history. Along the way he realized he hadn’t really seen a film that covered the full and fascinating … READ MORE

The Black Panthers Pandora Mixtape

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution will be televised on Independent Lens February 16 at 9 pm [check local listings] but you can plug in, turn on, and get down ahead of time with our curated Pandora Mixtape. The set joins the politically charged soul music of the ’60s and 70’s with post-Panther era R&B and hip-hop that … READ MORE

Breaking Barriers on Stage: African American Ballet Dancers Who Made History

As we learn in A Ballerina’s Tale, Nelson George’s new documentary about Misty Copeland [February 8; check local listings], Eurocentric standards of body shape, muscle tone, and skin color excluded dancers who didn’t fit the wan mold demanded of prima ballerinas. All that changed in the summer of 2015, when Misty Copeland, a rising star already transcending the rarified … READ MORE

Renee Tajima-Peña on the Women of the Madrigal vs Quilligan Case

Filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary for her film Who Killed Vincent Chin?, which aired on PBS back in 1989. She’s hardly sat still since then; her films have premiered at Sundance, Cannes, San Francisco International, New Directors/New Films, Toronto, the Whitney Biennial and other festivals around the world. And as she … READ MORE

Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the United States

Coerced sterilization is a shameful part of America’s history, and one doesn’t have to go too far back to find examples of it. Used as a means of controlling “undesirable” populations – immigrants, people of color, poor people, unmarried mothers, the disabled, the mentally ill – federally-funded sterilization programs took place in 32 states throughout the 20th century. … READ MORE

Hawaiian Food: A History and Recipes for Your Football Feast

Honolulu chef Mark Noguchi of Mission Social Hall & Cafe and his wife Amanda make a great team. “One of us handles the logistics and delegates responsibilities (so we don’t end up with a dinner of dessert),” Amanda says, “while the other mans the grill and marinades.” Together they’ve assembled a brief history of Hawaiian food along … READ MORE

Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn Tell the Story of a Unique Football Culture

Utah-based filmmakers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn come from different professional backgrounds – Tony, who comes from a culture of Polynesian traditions and a family of athletes, once played football himself before shifting into multimedia production, while Erika’s filmmaking background has seen her produce films about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Lebanese-Israeli war of … READ MORE

More Than Rain Man: Autism Portrayals on Screen

For a long time, the Oscar-winning 1988 drama Rain Man wasn’t just the best-known representation of autism on film, it was a lot of people’s only frame of reference for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in general. But over the past decade or so, as more and more kids have been diagnosed as on the spectrum, … READ MORE

Matt Fuller Explores the Autism Spectrum with Intimate Film

Filmmaker Matt Fuller began his career in Hollywood, working for Sony Pictures in various capacities (on such films as Vacancy, Prom Night, and The Stepfather), and went on to supervise the development and production of Warner Bros.’s Arthur and Relativity’s Limitless. Eventually, Fuller decided he wanted to operate more independently and launched his own production company. Fuller’s first film as a director emerged … READ MORE

Independent Lens Announces Winter-Spring 2016 Films

Independent Lens, which recently won the IDA’s Best Curated Series Award for the third consecutive year, announced its 2016 Winter-Spring season lineup today. “These films amplify conversations happening across the country on issues like the rise of gun violence, racial unrest, and the delicate balance between civil liberties and national security,” said Independent Lens executive producer Lois Vossen. … READ MORE