Elvis and the Death of the American Dream, Through Movies

Elvis Presley is ostensibly the subject of The King, Eugene Jarecki’s expansive road movie of a documentary. The award-winning director drives Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce across the US, from Mississippi and Memphis to Nashville, New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and elsewhere, talking to historians, musicians, members of Presley’s inner circle, and everyday Americans. Elvis centers the … READ MORE

The King – Elvis, Tupelo, and the American Dream – Clip

In this excerpt from The King, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki goes to Tupelo, Mississippi in search of the childhood home of Elvis Presley’s and ends up exploring the dilapidated state of the American Dream. “Elvis, Elvis, Elvis, that’s all Tupelo has thrived on, that’s the only thing keeping it alive,” says one local woman.

Independent Lens Film “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” Honored with Oscar Nomination

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the nominations for the 91st Oscars and Independent Lens was elated that Hale County This Morning, This Evening received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary. RaMell Ross‘s critically acclaimed film, “made modestly and intimately,” wrote Richard Brody in The New Yorker, the film “embodies a … READ MORE

Hale County This Morning, This Evening – Trailer

RaMell Ross’s Academy Award-nominated Hale County This Morning, This Evening, one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films, is a dreamy and intimate journey through the world of Hale County, Alabama, a richly detailed glimpse into life in America’s Black Belt.  

Trailer | The King | Independent Lens | PBS

Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey in The King traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. A diverse cast … READ MORE

My Country No More

Following the rise and fall of the oil boom in North Dakota, My Country No More paints a portrait of a rural American community in crisis split by a high-stakes divide.

Director Duo Show No Easy Answers in Fight Over Land

The team behind the new Independent Lens film My Country No More, Rita Baghdadi and Jeremiah Hammerling, told us they were drawn to Hammerling’s native North Dakota to make this film “because his hometown, as well as much of rural America, was changing rapidly and we wanted to document those changes. And we also wanted to explore the importance … READ MORE

Man on Fire

In 2014, 79-year-old white Methodist minister drove to an empty parking lot in his old hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, and set himself on fire. He left a note on his car’s windshield calling the act his final protest against the virulent racism of the community and his country at large. Man on Fire uncovers … READ MORE

My Country No More – Trailer

Between 2011 and 2016, oil drilling in rural North Dakota reached its peak, setting off a modern-day gold rush in the quiet, tight-knit farm town of Trenton, North Dakota, population less than 1,000. With billions of dollars to be gained in an industry-friendly state with a “reasonable regulation” climate, small towns like Trenton became overwhelmed … READ MORE

Harvest Season

Harvest Season probes the lives of the multigenerational Latinos, temporary laborers, and permanent residents intimately connected to the production of premium wines in the Napa and Sonoma regions of Northern California — in the midst of one of the most dramatic grape harvests in recent memory. Harvest Season follows the stories of people who are … READ MORE

Wrestle

Wrestle goes inside the lives of four members of the high school wrestling team at Huntsville’s J.O. Johnson High School–a longstanding entry on Alabama’s list of failing schools. Teammates Jailen, Jamario, Teague, and Jaquan show that needing a win can be about much more than just beating your opponent on the mat, as they face … READ MORE