Lynching scene in Within Our Gates (by Oscar Micheaux)
Beyond the Films

February 20, 2020

As American as the Blues: Lynching in Film and TV

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade Adeniji Always in Season explores the history of lynching through the mysterious 2014 death of Lennon Lacy while also looking at historical reenactments of lynching, prompting some to…...

Elle in full uniform in The Invisible War stands at the Vietnam War Memorial
Film History

March 08, 2017

Meet the Trailblazers of Documentary Activism

Sean Axmaker in Film History

We think of the cinema of activism in documentary filmmaking as a relatively modern phenomenon, something first awakened in the 1960s and 1970s and popularized by the likes of Michael…...

Stephen, at home, explaining how you know when you're in love
Film History

January 08, 2016

More Than Rain Man: Autism Portrayals on Screen

Noel Murray in Beyond the Films

For a long time, the Oscar-winning 1988 drama Rain Man wasn’t just the best-known representation of autism on film, it was a lot of people’s only frame of reference for…...

Irina Nistor watches a film being projected, for censorship review, in dramatic recreation scene from Chuck Norris vs. Communism

December 31, 2015

Nine Movies about the Power of Cinema

Noel Murray in Film History

In Ilinca Calugareanu’s documentary Chuck Norris vs. Communism [premiering Monday, Jan. 4 on PBS; check local listings], a handful of Romanians who endured the Cold War reminisce about congregating surreptitiously…...

From the Maysles Brothers' Gimme Shelter, when things turned ugly at Altamont during Rolling Stones' performance
Film History

December 14, 2015

Cinema Verite: The Movement of Truth

Sean Axmaker in Film History

This piece is part of an ongoing Independent Lens series exploring documentary film history. Check out the previous entry, Silent Real-Life Adventure Films, and stay tuned for more installments. The birth…...

Still frame from The Epic of Everest (1924), men exploring an ice cave on the mountain.
Film History

October 20, 2015

Early Silent Documentaries: Real-Life Adventure Cinema

Sean Axmaker in Film History

This piece is part of an ongoing Independent Lens series exploring documentary film history. Stay tuned for more installments. Since the dawn of cinema, cameras have been taken around the world to…...