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All posts by Independent Lens

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

Quiz: Are You Buckley or Vidal?

In 1968, opposing intellectual forces William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal squared off in a series of nationally televised debates during one of our nation’s most turbulent election cycles. With a month to go before another historic and tumultuous election, find out which Best of Enemies pundit you’re most like. The result may surprise you. Either way, you’ll … READ MORE

Independent Lens Audience Award Survey!

Vote now for your own personal favorite from the just-concluded 2015-2016 season of Independent Lens. The voting period will run through 5 pm PT Monday, August 29. There were 21 films in this season that lasted from October through August, so a lot to choose from. But if you could pick just one favorite film … READ MORE

10 Reasons to Root for Olympic Boxer Claressa Shields

Get in Claressa Shields’ corner with 10 memorable T-Rex: Her Fight For Gold moments. 1. While her friends spent Friday nights partying, she logged long hours alone in the gym.   “On Fridays, nobody would be at the gym. It would just be me and [Coach] Jason. He wouldn’t never cancel practice because it was just me … READ MORE

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: What the Supreme Court Is Deciding in the Most Important Abortion Ruling in Decades (Updated)

By Marcia Coyle @MarciaCoyle Guest Contributor, National Law Journal By the end of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide its first abortion case in nine years. At the center is reproductive healthcare provider Whole Woman’s Health, the subject of the upcoming Independent Lens film, TRAPPED. The ruling could be the most important abortion decision in more than 20 … READ MORE