This season, from fall to spring, Independent Lens presents a new group of award-winning films that will thrust viewers into the heart of conversations across America. We’d like to introduce you to the films airing this Fall and Winter, with Spring films announced in this same space soon.
“At Independent Lens we think a lot about neighborhoods. It begins with our filmmakers, telling stories about their hometowns and from inside communities across the country,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. “They take time to go deeper to make thought-provoking documentaries about the issues that divide us and the ideals and beliefs that bind us together. We are excited to launch our newest season on PBS, America’s Home for Documentaries.”
Independent Lens’ 2019-2020 lineup launches Monday, October 28 with Made in Boise, an engrossing look at the complex world of surrogacy told through the stories of four women carrying babies for intended parents in the conservative heartland of Idaho — the unregulated and unofficial “surrogacy capital” of the United States.
Here’s a sneak peek at more of the films to come:
Decade of Fire (Nov. 4) covers a shocking but untold piece of American urban history, when the South Bronx was on fire in the 1970s. Left unprotected by the city government, nearly a quarter-million people were displaced as their close-knit, multiethnic neighborhood burned to the ground, reducing the community to rubble. Decade of Fire reveals the real reasons for the devastation, showing what can happen when a community chooses to fight back and reclaim their neighborhood.
The Interpreters (Nov. 11), is a poignant but tense portrayal of a very human and high-stakes side of war’s aftermath, the story of how Afghan and Iraqi interpreters risked their lives aiding American troops–but then became the people we left behind.
Conscience Point (Nov. 18), which airs during Native American Heritage Month: Beneath the mystique of The Hamptons, among the wealthiest zip codes in the US, lies the history of the town’s original inhabitants, The Shinnecock Indian Nation. Rebecca Hill-Genia, a Shinnecock activist, wants the throngs of visitors to understand one thing: the world-renowned Shinnecock Hills Golf Club’s celebrated slopes and sand traps were literally carved out of a sacred Shinnecock burial ground.
Attla (Dec. 16) tells the gripping but little-known story of legendary Alaska Native dogsled champion, George Attla, who, with one good leg and one outlandish dream, trains his young grandnephew to compete in the world’s largest sprint dogsled race.
Highlights of the soon-to-be-announced Winter/Spring 2020 slate include Always in Season, a harrowing look at the history of lynching and the 2014 case of Lennon Lacy, a North Carolina teen who died under unexplained circumstances; Bedlam, a psychiatrist’s chronicle of what it means to be mentally ill in the U.S. today, interwoven with the story of how the system tragically failed his own sister; and Rewind, a devastating, autobiographical documentary about the far-reaching consequences of multigenerational child sexual abuse.