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TOPIC: Identity

“Your Vote Is Your Voice”: Best Films About Voting Rights

The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights in a Democracy, and yet who has been allowed to vote in America has been a battle that’s been bitterly waged for decades.  Two new documentaries; John Lewis: Good Trouble, about the legendary Civil Rights activist and Congressman; and American Experience’s two-part series The … READ MORE

Young Musicians Play Ancient Instrument in the “Olympics of the Pipe Organ”

The Montreal-based filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum‘s joyful film The Art of the Shine, which aired on PBS, took the director all over the world, from New York to Toronto, Paris to La Paz, Bolivia, to look at the forgotten profession of shoe shining. Now with her film Pipe Dreams, she brings the world to her hometown, … READ MORE

Hale County This Morning, This Evening Wins Peabody Award

The Peabody Awards announced that the Independent Lens film Hale County This Morning, This Evening was honored with a Peabody in the Documentary category.  We extend our heartiest congratulations to filmmaker RaMell Ross on this achievement. Hale County This Morning, This Evening is the 23rd Independent Lens film to be honored with a Peabody.

Filmmakers Show the World the Real Easter Island, a Wakeup Call with Hope

Sergio Mata’u Rapu has spent the last 15 years shooting and producing documentaries that have aired on History Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic, and NOVA. Based in Minnesota, a very long way from the remote southeastern Pacific, he’s also likely the only native of Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) producing documentaries in an English-speaking country. … READ MORE

Sasha Joseph Neulinger Confronts Family Trauma Head-On

It’s been a pretty impressive run for what was someone’s very first feature documentary. But then again, Rewind is no ordinary first film. After Sasha Joseph Neulinger finished film school at Montana State University, he discovered the raw materials that would propel him to tell the extraordinary story of his life. A very candid autobiographical … READ MORE

Filmmaker Asks New Yorkers, What Does the Future Look Like?

Toronto-based filmmaker Brett Story, whose previous film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes aired on Independent Lens in 2017, holds a PhD in geography and her unconventional storytelling style reflects both a geographer’s exploring eye and a listener’s empathetic ear. She approaches the interviews in The Hottest August as a way to learn from people and … READ MORE

Rural Perspective on Mental Health Care in a Time of Crisis

by Rooney Elmi Kenneth Paul Rosenberg MD’s Bedlam profiles of one of the most pervasive and stigmatized public health crises: mental illness. Taking its titular inspiration from the infamous English “madhouse” founded in the 13th Century (and inspiring Rosenberg’s book of the same name), Bedlam mixes archival footage of psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, protest demonstrations, … READ MORE

“My Family’s Tragedy Is an American Tragedy”: Bedlam Filmmaker’s Journey to Depict Mental Health Crisis

In his film Bedlam, Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD follows the lives of three patients who find themselves with a chronic lack of institutional support, while he also weaves in his own story of how the system failed his late sister, Merle, and her battle with schizophrenia. As Rosenberg wrote in a powerful op-ed for the … READ MORE

Peer Support and the Complexity of Mental Health

By Lennlee Keep The film Bedlam explores mental illness from the perspectives of physicians, politicians, parents, and patients themselves. The power of documentary film is that it generates conversations about more than what is on the screen. After I watched Bedlam the first time, I wanted to watch it again with my friend “Pete.” [We … READ MORE