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12 Documentaries About the Vietnam War on the American Homefront

On Sunday, September 17th, PBS will debut the latest project from Ken Burns and his frequent collaborator Lynn Novick: the ten-part, 18-hour series The Vietnam War. Just like Burns and Novick’s previous films The War (about WWII) and Prohibition (about American culture in the 1920s), the new documentary combines a broader historical overview with compelling … READ MORE

2017 Earth Day Watch List: 17 New Films About Sustainability and Climate Change

We count on indie filmmakers to sniff out the conspicuous absences in mainstream media. Journalist and investigative reporter Amy Goodman once said, “The role of independent media is to go to where the silence is.” To environmentalists and scientists, the silence around climate change is deafening. And as environmental themes and issues are always on … READ MORE

10 Great Animated Documentaries

Keith Maitland’s animated documentary TOWER [on Independent Lens Tuesday, February 14 at 10pm; check local listings] has left critics and awards-voting bodies alike flummoxed as to how best to categorize it. This is a visionary work, no doubt, that uses voice-actors and vintage audio to reconstruct what happened back in 1966 when a sniper shot dozens of … READ MORE

Blood Guilt: 12 Movies about Healing after Heinous Crimes

Niklas Frank and Horst von Wächter are the adult children of high-ranking Nazi officers. As we learn in My Nazi Legacy, their fathers sent tens of thousands of people to their deaths, and Niklas and Horst spent decades dealing with the legacy of that birthright, though not in the same way. While both men speak … READ MORE

Five Seriously Scary Documentaries for Halloween

It’s often said that truth is stranger than fiction, and while that may be accurate in some cases, it’s also true that truth can be a lot scarier than fiction. As creepy as Halloween, The Exorcist, or Psycho may be, the viewer can always take a bit of solace from the fact that, well, it’s all … READ MORE

Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization Rises Again

Editor’s note: While these aren’t Independent Lens films of course, the Decline films are some of our very favorite music docs, make for perfect summertime viewing, and are finally all out together on DVD. Read on for critic Noel Murray’s exclusive take on them, and a few more of his own favorites. By Noel Murray Each of director … READ MORE

Black History Month: From the Independent Lens Archives

Our programming aims to celebrate black history more than just during the month February, but Black History Month is certainly a great time to pause and reflect on African American history both distant and recent. We’ve collected some of our favorite Independent Lens films that delve into different aspects of black history and culture through the … READ MORE