East of Salinas Trailer

Born in Mexico but living in Salinas, California, 3rd-grader Jose Ansaldo loves school. With little support at home, he turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, who like Jose was born the son of migrant farm workers, and who inspires him to imagine a life beyond the fields.

East of Salinas

East of Salinas takes us to the heart of California’s “Steinbeck Country,” the Salinas Valley, to meet a bright boy and his dedicated teacher — both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents who are busy working long hours in the fields, third grader Jose Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. … READ MORE

Homeless but Not Hopeless: Homeless Youth in America

Youth homelessness is on the rise in the United States, and the numbers aren’t pretty. One in 30 kids (nearly 2.5 million children) of K-12 school age are now homeless in the U.S. But here’s a look at innovative ways people are using to tackle the issue, and ways you can help, too.

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The Graduates – The Boys

This film explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the US. The second episode features Juan, who was bullied as a gay teen until he discovered dance; Eduardo, who is steered away from the gang path when introduced to a special college prep organization; and … READ MORE

The Graduates – The Girls

This two-part film explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the US. This episode features Stephanie, a budding activist on the South Side of Chicago; Chastity, a Bronx teen whose family has become homeless; and Darlene, a Tulsa student who reenters school after having a … READ MORE

The Graduates: Preview

Two-part, bilingual documentary explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States, offering first-hand perspectives on the barriers they have to overcome in order to make their dreams come true.

Latina Student Faces Present Day School Segregation

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary, The Graduates/Los Graduados, we meet Stephanie, a young, Latina student in Chicago who has considered dropping out due to the fact that her high school is poorly regarded and may limit her opportunities to succeed.

Latino Student Chooses Between Gang Life or Graduation

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary, The Graduates/Los Graduados, we meet Eduardo, a young, Latino student in San Diego who describes how the lure of gangs and drug use have prevented most of his relatives from graduating.

A Latina Struggles with Homelessness While in High School

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary, The Graduates/Los Graduados, we meet Chastity, a young, Latina student who lives in the Bronx, NY. While in high school, Chastity was actually living with her family in a homeless shelter, which made it difficult for her to focus on succeeding academically.

The Graduates / Los Graduados

The struggles and triumphs of Latino and Latina students from across the United States are explored through their own eyes in this documentary about the challenges faced in our nation’s public education system.

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Filmmaker Scott Thurman on the Texas Textbook Wars

We sat down with filmmaker Scott Thurman to discuss what went on behind the scenes of his documentary, The Revisionaries, which chronicles the oft-rancorous battle over Texas textbooks. The Revisionaries premieres on Independent Lens January 28 at 10 PM (check local listings). What impact do you hope the film will have? I hope people pay more attention … READ MORE