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All posts by Independent Lens

On Supergirls, Sasha Fierce, Slim Shady and Having an Alter Ego

By Michelle Konstantinovsky Naomi Kutin is technically the central subject of the new Independent Lens documentary Supergirl. But as the film unfolds, viewers learn fairly quickly that there are actually two equally important protagonists: Kutin and her all-powerful alter ego, “Supergirl.” At first glance, the story might seem specific to Kutin, but the New Jersey pre-teen is representative … READ MORE

Chasing Trane Playlist: Coltrane and His Disciples

By Nick Dedina, Guest Contributor Drop a needle on a John Coltrane record, hit play on one of his digital playlists, or watch Chasing Trane and it’s easy to understand why the saxophonist is universally revered as a musical giant. The ways in which Coltrane influenced jazz are vast. But the saxophonist has also had a … READ MORE

Independent Lens 2017-2018 Season Launches With Award-Winning Slate

Independent Lens’ new season is here and so take a peek at the unforgettable, award-winning films that make up the first half of the 2017-2018 slate. We open on Monday, November 6 with Chasing Trane, John Scheinfeld’s portrait of legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, featuring Denzel Washington speaking the words of Coltrane. Other highlights of the Fall 2017-Winter 2018 lineup include Raoul … READ MORE

Forever Pure: Updates on the Main Players

Check out this gallery of updates from the past year on all the main players featured in Forever Pure, from former owner Arcadi Gaydamak to players Zaur Sadayev, Dzhabrail Kadiyev, and Ariel Harush, to coach Eli Cohen, and the La Familia fan group. Click on any image for a slideshow:

The Prison Economy: How Do Prisons Affect the Places We Live?

The Independent Lens film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes examines the effect prisons have on the communities around them in both positive and negative ways. Prisons can stimulate the economy and create jobs, but they also loom monolithically over our lives. The United States locks up a lot of people. Our prison population rate of roughly … READ MORE

Principal Vonda Viland and 10 of the Most Unforgettable “Bad Kids”

The following is by Vonda Viland, principal of Black Rock Continuation High School in Yucca Valley in California’s Mojave Desert, and subject of the documentary The Bad Kids. Viland’s tireless work to help at-risk teenagers find their way to graduation is reflected both in the film and in the fact that Black Rock High School was recently … 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

Native American Artifacts Tell a Story of Loss, Betrayal and Survival

Editor’s note: Author Jordan Dresser is featured in the Independent Lens film What Was Ours. He is a journalist, holds a Master’s in Museum Studies, and is passionate about Native American history and culture.  By Jordan Dresser If you listen closely, an item will tell you its story. It can be a story about its maker’s … READ MORE

Meet the Patels on PBS Presents a Love Quiz!

Keeping with the “looking for love” theme of Meet the Patels, which makes its television debut on Independent Lens Monday, December 26, 2017 at 9 pm, we present you with a fun quiz that will tell you where you will most likely find true love! Even if you’re already “taken” we think you’ll still enjoy taking … READ MORE