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Book Club Featuring Eliminated Mexican American Studies Texts Draws Fire in Tucson

Tonight is premiere night for Precious Knowledge, a film about the last years of the successful but controversial Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Arizona’s public schools. (Check your local listings here for when it airs on your local PBS station). Coincidentally, the controversy developed a new wrinkle this week when the local library hosted … 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

What Returning Soldiers Have in Common With AIDS in the 1980s

Yes it sounds like an outrageous nonsequitur, but bear with it. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power includes a passage in the epilogue that makes the parallel. In the book, Maddow makes the case that the military has become so isolated from the democratic process that Americans no … READ MORE

Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill Migrating to the ‘Burbs

We saw this item in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle, and knew we’d have to post it here for posterity. There’s news about the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (the birds themselves, not the film); the flocks are migrating slowly to other parts of the Bay Area, including one group occupying the sleepy town of Brisbane, … READ MORE

Two Independent Lens Docs Nominated for Independent Spirit Awards

More awards season news for the Independent Lens family. The Film Independent Spirit Awards are also this weekend, and Independent Lens has two nominated films: Hell and Back Again is nominated in the Truer than Fiction category, and We Were Here is nominated for Best Documentary. Hell and Back Again, directed by Danfung Dennis and … READ MORE

Best Documentary Nominees Visit Talk of the Nation

Filmmakers Danfung Dennis (Hell and Back Again) and Marshall Curry (If A Tree Falls) both appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation this week to discuss their respective films — both of which are nominees for Best Documentary Feature. Listen to the interviews with host Neal Conan, below: Hell and Back Again “After so many … READ MORE

The Island President Appears on Morning Edition After Apparent Coup

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed appeared on Morning Edition this week. Nasheed was forced to resign earlier this month in what he referred to as a coup, a claim his successor denies. He is featured in the documentary The Island President, which will air next season on Independent Lens. Listen to NPR’s Morning Edition interview … READ MORE

Lioness Filmmakers Respond to Pentagon Announcement

On February 9th, 2012, the Pentagon unveiled plans to allow women to serve in jobs that would put them closer to the front lines but still block them from all-male infantry, armor, and special-operation units. Although represented by the Pentagon as “the beginning, not the end, of a process,” this current action does little more … READ MORE

Lioness Impact Continues: Pentagon to Change Women in Combat Rules

News today that the Pentagon plans to change some of its long-standing rules on women in combat, to reflect the reality that the ban currently in place does not represent the reality on the battlefield. Lioness, a film that influenced this policy change, aired on Independent Lens in 2008 (and was rebroadcast in December 2011). … READ MORE

The Island President Ousted — Filmmakers Respond

The Island President, directed by Jon Shenk and produced by Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge, debuted at Sundance just two weeks ago. We told you then how thrilled we were that the film will be on Independent Lens next season. The filmmakers are keeping us updated on events in the Maldives as the subject of … READ MORE

Independent Lens, POV Score Oscar Nominations

(UPDATED) We’re all aglow this morning with news that Danfung Dennis’s Hell and Back Again (coming to Independent Lens in May) scored a coveted Academy Award nomination! In the film, U.S. Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris, 25, leads his unit to fight a ghostlike enemy in Afghanistan. Wounded in battle, Harris returns to North Carolina and … READ MORE