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TOPIC: Politics & Government

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

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

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

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

“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

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

Enter to Win a Copy of “Bedlam: An Intimate Journey into America’s Mental Health Crisis”

Looking for your next great read? Bedlam: An Intimate Journey into America’s Mental Health Crisis by Bedlam filmmaker Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD, sheds light on the mental-health-care crisis in the United States. The book “has the depth of an encyclopedia of psychiatry but told by a fine writer and storyteller,” says Psychology Today. The documentary Bedlam … READ MORE

This Couple Finds Answers for Adopted Daughters From China

Brian and Long Lan Stuy are a Utah couple who have adopted three daughters from China: Meikina from DianBai, Meigon from Guangzhou, and Meilan from Luoyang. After discovering that documentation for one of their adopted children was fake, Brian and his wife created their home-based company Research-China, with the mission of reuniting adopted children with … READ MORE

Nanfu Wang’s Riveting Personal Story Probes Impact of One-Child Policy

Taking risks is nothing new for Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang. Her previous documentary I Am Another You, which was a SXSW Jury Award-winner and aired on Independent Lens, involved her having to live on the streets with the homeless subject of her film, and prior to that she became a target of the Chinese government … READ MORE