Filmmaker Cullen Hoback Digs Into Political Cover-Ups and Chemical Spills in Americans Water

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s previous film Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013), a humorous but chilling documentary about the erosion of online privacy and what info governments and corporations are legally taking from citizens each day, has become (or remains) timely again. Hoback’s new film, What Lies Upstream, promises to remain relevant for some time as … READ MORE

The Art of the Shine

You might pass them on the sidewalk, at the mall or at the airport. They’re the shoe shiners, purveying an old school trade that seems like something out of the Mad Men era, out of step with our fast-paced, disposable consumer culture. But for the “shiners” in Stacey Tenenbaum’s joyous and quirky film The Art … READ MORE

What Lies Upstream – Trailer

In the unsettling exposé What Lies Upstream, investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback travels to West Virginia to study the unprecedented loss of clean water for over 300,000 Americans in the 2014 Elk River chemical spill. There he uncovers a shocking failure of regulation from both state and federal agencies and a damaged political system where chemical … READ MORE

“Sentencing Children”: A 7-Part Series

Watch our seven-part, Webby Award-nominated series on juvenile sentencing laws, “Sentencing Children.” “Sentencing Children” was produced by Dan Birman and Independent Lens. This series is part of Independent Lens‘s commitment to fostering collaboration between filmmakers and journalists. “Sentencing Children” was originally published by The Tennessean newspaper, and tells the stories of Cyntoia Brown and other incarcerated juveniles … READ MORE

Winnie

One of the more misunderstood and intriguing contemporary female political figures, Winnie Mandela’s rise and seeming fall from grace bear the hallmarks of epic tragedy. Winnie explores her life and contribution to the struggle to bring down apartheid in South Africa from the inside, with intimate insight from Winnie herself, those closest to her and … READ MORE

Shoes Wisely: Stacey Tenenbaum Shines a Light on an Age-Old Profession

Award-winning filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum co-created a critically acclaimed series in Canada, The Beat, which followed a team of beat police officers patrolling the streets of Downtown Vancouver. Exchanging the police beat for shiny feet for her new film, Tenenbaum’s The Art of the Shine [premiering on Independent Lens Monday, April 9; check local listings], travels from New York City … READ MORE

When God Sleeps

When God Sleeps is the story of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi’s stand for freedom of expression, after he was forced into hiding when hardline clerics issue a fatwa for his death, incensed by a rap song focusing on human rights. Despite the risks to his life every time he performs on stage, Shahin refuses to … READ MORE

Censored Iranian Artists, Poets and Musicians Threatened with Exile

[Note: Please enjoy this guest essay on Iranian artists and censorships, in conjunction with the broadcast premiere of When God Sleeps, by artist and game creator Kurosh ValaNejad. See more on him at the end.] by Kurosh ValaNejad, guest contributor In the Islamic Republic of Iran, artistic expression is not denied.  Iranians can sing and dance … READ MORE

Dolores

With intimate and unprecedented access, Peter Bratt’s Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century.

The Art of the Shine – The Sober Shoeshine Gang – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Art of the Shine, Kevin, Jes, and Kealani, partners in a New York-based The Shoeshine Guild, talk about why they love the business, and the art, of shining shoes. Kevin started the company to create a supportive work environment for fellow alcoholics, and Jes, who finds shining much … READ MORE