They Call Us Monsters – Juvenile Prisoners Write Film – Clip

In this scene from the Independent Lens film They Call Us Monsters, filmmaker Gabe Cowan (producer of Cheap Thrills and Just Before I Go) introduces us to the screenwriting class he teaches to a group of incarcerated teen boys housed at a Los Angeles facility for juveniles tried as adults. While they can’t physically leave, … READ MORE

The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps themselves used humor as a means of survival and resistance. The Last Laugh weaves together an intimate portrait of Auschwitz survivor … READ MORE

The Last Laugh – From the Holocaust to Rwanda – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Last Laugh, Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone talks about how her late husband missed some terrible things happening in the modern world, like 9/11, and Rwanda, which she had just visited. “The stories I heard there, also, just unimaginable.” In Rwanda, she notes, 1 million Tutsis were … READ MORE

The Last Laugh – Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Comedy and Darkness – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Last Laugh, writer/director/comedian Mel Brooks (who does his Hitler impression), director Rob Reiner and his dad Carl Reiner, actor and Holocaust survivor Robert Klary, and comedians Sarah Silverman and Judy Gold all talk about the importance of humor on taboo topics like the Holocaust. Gold says … READ MORE

The Last Laugh – My Revenge Against Hitler – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Last Laugh, Holocaust survivors Elly Gross and Renee Firestone take an indoor gondola ride at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel serenaded by “Volare,” but Elly admits she cannot enjoy it because she feels guilt for all those who did not survive Auschwitz and cannot be there to … READ MORE

The Last Laugh – Trailer

The Last Laugh proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps themselves used humor as a means of survival and resistance. The Last Laugh weaves together an intimate portrait of Auschwitz survivor … READ MORE

Newtown – Nicole Hockley Remembers Dylan – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film Newtown, Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was one of the schoolchildren killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, recalls the painful process of denial and acceptance after Dylan’s death. “Something’s gotta be wrong,” she recalls saying, “this can’t be.” Even after seeing her son’s body she … READ MORE

Newtown Full Film

Newtown explores the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six of their educators were killed on December 14, 2012.

Healing Places: Rebuilding After a Community Tragedy

“The only thing tragedy gives us is the opportunity to rebuild our life.” -writer Paulo Coelho The film Newtown asks, “What remains after all is lost?” Some have said that it is much harder to rebuild oneself after experiencing an unconscionable tragedy than it is to physically rebuild a space on the site the tragedy happened. … READ MORE

Ovarian Psycos

Ovarian Psycos is about a new generation of fierce, unapologetic and feminist women of color from the Eastside of Los Angeles who confront injustice, build community, and redefine identity through a raucous, irreverently named bicycle crew: The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade.

The Bad Kids – Meet the “Bad Kids” of Black Rock – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Bad Kids, we meet a cross-section of students at the Black Rock Continuation High School in California’s Mojave Desert, all sharing their different stories as to why and how they ended up here at this “last chance” school — from living on food stamps to drugs, … READ MORE

The Bad Kids

Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is an alternative school for students at risk of dropping out; Black Rock is their last chance. Extraordinary educators believe that empathy and life skills, more than academics, give these underserved students command of their own futures.