Filmmaker Exposes Shocking Pattern of Illegal Sterilizations in Women’s Prisons

Erika Cohn has made powerful documentaries for Independent Lens before and is no stranger to telling intimate, surprising stories in tense environments: her Peabody Award-winning film The Judge showed Shari’a law in a new light to Western eyes, through the story of the first-ever female judge in Palestine’s religious courts; and the Utah native filmmaker … READ MORE

Watch Independent Lens on the PBS Video App

The free PBS Video App is now available to use on iOS and AppleTV, Android and Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. Stream the latest Independent Lens documentaries and your favorite PBS shows, create the perfect watchlist, connect with your local station, and more — anytime, anywhere. You can watch … READ MORE

Jonathan Scott Investigates Who Controls Our Power

In some ways Jonathan Scott should need no introduction—or so you’d think as co-host with his brother Drew of the hugely popular HGTV shows Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, which air in more than 160 countries, and as a best-selling author, magazine co-founder, Billboard-charting recording artist, and social media influencer. But there’s another side … READ MORE

Parenting and Making Docs During a Pandemic? It’s a Juggling Act

By Ivonne Spinoza “Producing films often translates to putting out fires before they start, so I suppose this gets you ready for parenting in a pandemic, generally speaking, but did I feel prepared for the reality of 2020? That’s a hard no.”—Nico Opper COVID has revealed and intensified all kinds of challenges in our lives … READ MORE

How Three Passionate Candidates Represent Women Shaping the Future

What does “representation” mean in the midst of a historically tense election year?  In her film Represent, filmmaker Hillary Bachelder sought to show the universal struggle to redefine repressive expectations for women in politics with a look at three women running for office in a male-dominated world. Originally from Maine, Bachelder went to Chicago for … READ MORE

From Kilroy to Pepe: A Brief History of Memes

By Lennlee Keep What do Pepe the Frog, the Spanish Inquisition, the blinking guy, the French Revolution, concern for the environment, and the Third Reich all have in common? These are all ideas that spread until they became pervasive throughout a culture or country. According to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, they are also all cultural … READ MORE

Independent Lens Fall Season Has 2020 Vision

The upcoming slate of films airing on Independent Lens on PBS this fall is just one part of an incredible season coming up that will last through the Spring in epic fashion. The fall documentary will be extremely timely, covering everything from how art and internet memes can get hijacked for political extremism to the … READ MORE

Comfort Viewing: What Filmmakers and Writers Are Watching to Get Through It

What are YOU watching to provide comfort during these trying times? Filmmakers, artists, critics and writers chimed in with their personal favorite shows and films to watch when in dire need of checking out and calming down, which, let’s face it, is pretty commonly needed these days.  See what they came up with below.

Honor Hispanic Heritage Month with Eight Unique Documentaries

By Lola Méndez Hispanic Heritage Month has been honored annually in the United States since 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson first launched it as Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration to last the four weeks from September 15th to October 15th. Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates the histories, cultures, and contributions … READ MORE

The Science of Kindness: It’s Not Easy Being Nice

Author Josh Kurz is a science communicator and filmmaker, and the co-creator of the audio program Shabam, which uses a zombie apocalypse to talk about real science. By Josh Kurz You might know someone like “Scott.” Fun at parties, has passionate opinions about a wide range of topics; space travel, the Mayan calendar, twerking. But … READ MORE

The Evolution of Disability in Film: After the Accolades, the Work Continues

By Lawrence Carter-Long Once upon a time, disability was just a diagnosis. Through time, the word has evolved to encompass larger more expansive concepts like community, identity, and culture. In 2020—thirty years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act—anyone who still thinks of disability solely as a medical issue might not realize it but … READ MORE