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

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes – Kanye on Cassette – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, a representative from sendapackage.com, a company dedicated to sending goods and products to prisoners, shows us audio cassettes (including Kanye’s “Yeezus”) they sell that are made specifically for prisoners — which use glue instead of screws, even though they’re allowed to sell … READ MORE

Girl Power: The Original #SquadGoals (and Just #Goals in General)

In the Independent Lens documentary Ovarian Psycos, we’re introduced to The Ovas — a chicanx (xicanx) feminist group who bike through the streets of East L.A. in honor of sisterhood. While bike riding in solidarity is definitely an underground movement, womxn coming together to uplift and empower one another has been a huge part of recent … READ MORE

TOWER Playlist: 1966 Music Soundscape

Pure and simple, 1966 was considered by many critics as one of the greatest years for popular music ever [see the Guardian’s “Was 1966 pop music greatest’s year?” and the LA Times‘ “1966 Could be Rock’s Most Revolutionary Year“]. The AV Club’s Steven Hyden on why 1966 was his favorite year for music: “I chose … READ MORE

Daryl Davis Meets Kwame Rose

In this excerpt from Independent Lens documentary Accidental Courtesy, musician Daryl Davis talks with Black Lives Matter activist and speaker Kwame Rose about Davis’s controversial hobby of collecting the robes and hoods of Ku Klux Klan members. Rose is skeptical but interested as Davis defends the fact that he’s befriended some of these men who … READ MORE

A Collection of Robes

In this excerpt from Independent Lens documentary Accidental Courtesy, musician Daryl Davis reveals his shocking hobby: collecting robes and hoods of former Klan members, including those who were Grand Dragons and Imperial Wizards (the top ranking member) in the KKK. Davis says as shameful as they may be, he keeps these garments because they’re a … READ MORE

Claressa Shields’ Workout Playlist

Check it out. Claressa “T-Rex” Shields sent us the tunes she pops into her iPod whenever she has to hit the canvas for a grueling workout. The Olympic Gold medalist needs to train hard all year round to become a champion. These are some of the songs that helped her get there. Note: Some tracks … READ MORE

The Black Panthers Pandora Mixtape

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution will be televised on Independent Lens February 16 at 9 pm [check local listings] but you can plug in, turn on, and get down ahead of time with our curated Pandora Mixtape. The set joins the politically charged soul music of the ’60s and 70’s with post-Panther era R&B and hip-hop that … READ MORE

The Kava Tradition

In this excerpt from In Football We Trust, high school football players, both Polynesian and non, gather together to make and drink Kava root juice — which has a calming effect but isn’t illegal — and play the ukulele. Fihi explains, “Kava is our way of holding onto our tradition but at the same time inviting … READ MORE