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Independent Lens

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Mama Bears
Conservative, Christian beliefs have defined their lives. Now they're championing their LGBTQ children.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 18 Now

Silent Beauty
One woman's journey to heal from childhood sexual abuse evolves into a family bonding over generational trauma.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 17 Now

Sam Now
In this coming-of-age documentary about generational trauma, follow Sam Harkness from age 11 to 36 as his middle-class Seattle family is heartbroken and unsure of what to do after his mother suddenly abandons them. Woven together with home movies lovingly crafted by Sam's half brother, director Reed Harkness, witness a boy grow up grappling with the ripple effects of a singular traumatic event.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 16 Now

Matter of Mind: My ALS
Three people with ALS confront complex choices in this intimate exploration.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 15 Now

Free Chol Soo Lee
The rollercoaster life story of Chol Soo Lee, a Korean immigrant wrongfully convicted of murder.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 14 Now

Hidden Letters
Modern women in China keep alive the tradition of N?shu, a secret written language.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 13 Now

A porter drives more than 1000 miles a month to deliver goods between families separated by the U.S.-Mexico border.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 12 Now

Storming Caesars Palace
How Vegas activist Ruby Duncan's grassroots movement of moms fought for a universal basic income.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 11 Now

In Underground, survivors of subway personal space violations share their stories in hopes of changing the stigma.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 10 Now

Love in the Time of Fentanyl
A safe injection site gives hope to a marginalized community ravaged by fentanyl deaths.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 9 Now

Outta the Muck
The people of Pahokee rise "outta the muck" to celebrate family history and big-time football.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 8 Now

The Picture Taker
The vibrant life of Ernest Withers—civil rights photographer, and FBI informant—was anything but black and white.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 7 Now

No Straight Lines
Five queer comic book artists journey from the underground comix scene to mainstream acceptance.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 6 Now

The Big Payback
Robin Rue Simmons and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) pressure the government to deliver monetary justice for Blacks harmed by chattel slavery, systemic injustice and corporate exploitation.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 5 Now

Children of Las Brisas
In Venezuela, the power of music is put to the test for El Sistema youth orchestra.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 4 Now

Move Me
Move Me

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 3 Now

TikTok, Boom.
Gen Z influencers and experts help dissect the influential social media platform TikTok.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 2 Now

Filmmaker Byron Hurt embarks on a personal journey to understand the underground rituals of hazing, revealing the abuse and the lengths college students will go to fit in.

Watch Independent Lens Season 24 Episode 1 Now

Launched in 1999 by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Independent Lens has served as an appealing platform for a multitude of creative, thought-provoking independent filmmakers. As an anthology series, it offers a wide array of compelling documentaries and narrative films that provide an in-depth look into an extraordinarily diverse range of topics and perspectives. The series aesthetically integrates voices that are often underrepresented, creating a rightful space for filmmakers who dare to take on challenging subjects.

Independent Lens is committed to representing the breadth and depth of our contemporary society, encouraging viewers to learn, understand, and engage with the world around them in a more critical and empathetic way. Each episode is a standalone film, carefully curated to reflect a unique aspect of human experience. The individual films are grouped into seasons, reflecting a cohesive theme or thread that binds them together, while still preserving their distinct narratives.

At its heart, Independent Lens gives a voice to the voiceless, focusing on topics that are often marginalized or overlooked in mainstream media, such as racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, and environmental activism, to name a few. The content is not shy to delve into controversies or confront uncomfortable realities, aiming to provoke dialogue and effect change through a deeper understanding of the issues presented.

Part of the appeal of Independent Lens is the condensation of the vast complexity of life into the intimate setting of personal narratives or focused explorations. The filmmakers bring their distinctive storytelling styles and artistic visions to the screen, producing not only informative pieces but also aesthetically pleasing and emotionally stirring works of art. The films leave lingering thoughts and inspire productive dialogue amongst viewers, fostering a sense of involvement in societal issues.

One of the distinctive features of Independent Lens is the high level of creative freedom given to the independent filmmakers involved. Despite the guiding hand of a seemingly omnipresent curatorial vision, each filmmaker is encouraged to retain their unique vision and approach, lending the series a fresh and eclectic mix of styles, tones, and moods.

An integral part of the series structure is that each episode is introduced by a host who adds their own context and perspectives, aiding in setting the tone for the audience. Additionally, the end of an episode often includes thoughtful discussions, interviews, or commentaries that further delve into the issues presented in the film, providing viewers with deeper understanding and enriched perspectives.

Throughout the series, Independent Lens provides engaging educational materials and resources. These elements allow viewers to delve deeper into the issues portrayed in each film, offering an interdisciplinary approach to learning about these topics. This commitment to education makes the series not only entertainment but also an illuminating vehicle for self-improvement and societal awareness.

Over the years, Independent Lens has enjoyed immense critical acclaim, cultivating a reputation for its high-quality storytelling and investigative perspective. The series has been honored with numerous industry accolitions, including multiple Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards, which attests to the quality, impact, and importance of its contribution to television programming.

In sum, Independent Lens is a fascinating viewing experience that fuels the intellect, stirs the emotions, and prods the conscience. By placing a strong emphasis on inclusivity, diversity, and authenticity, the series ensures that a broad spectrum of experiences is authentically reflected, thereby telling stories that matter to all of us. As a platform, Independent Lens takes viewers on a journey across disparate lives, cultures, and issues, providing a comprehensive humanistic canvas that paints a vivid portrait of our modern world, with all its beauty, complexities, struggles, and triumphs. Through this, the series successfully raises awareness, provokes thought, stimulates conversation, and ultimately bridges cultural and societal divides.

Independent Lens is a series categorized as a currently airing. Spanning 27 seasons with a total of 521 episodes, the show debuted on 1999. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 7.9.

Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Peter Coyote, Don Cheadle, Kal Penn, Alona Tal, Lance Reddick, America Ferrera, Maggie Gyllenhaal
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