The 12th season of the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens on PBS showcases another diverse slate of original documentary films, made by some of the best independent filmmakers working today. We take viewers to places they wouldn't otherwise see, and encounter people they wouldn't otherwise meet. Independent Lens airs Monday nights at 10/9c (check local listings).
by Steve Hoover
An intimate portrait of Rocky Braat, who traveled to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV living at an AIDS hostel, a place of unspeakable hardship, he decided to stay and devote his life to them.
by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini
The State of Arizona captures the explosive emotions and complex realities behind Arizona’s headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration.
by Dawn Porter
The story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation during the 1950s and ‘60s. Granted broad powers, this commission investigated citizens and organizations in attempts to derail the civil rights movement.
by Cristina Ibarra
In the lingering aftermath of the U.S.-Mexican War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.
by Alexandra Lescaze
The “Girls” have been friends — and morbidly obese — for years. But now, having weight-loss surgery is about to upset everything they thought they knew about health, happiness, friendship, and love.
by Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart
A community beset by a crippled economy and dwindling population is the setting for this documentary following a down-but-not-out varsity basketball team over a season. The team’s struggle to compete parallels the town’s own fight for survival.
by Reuben Atlas
The brotherhood of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is literal. Not-always-willing participants in an unorthodox upbringing, the eight boys were forged into a band as children by their father, Chicago jazz maverick Phil Cohran. Now as young men, making their way on the streets of New York and in the music business, with stardom on the horizon, they must test their father's ideals against their own brotherly vision.
by Bill Siegel and Kartemquin Films
The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers Ali's toughest bout: his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The film explores Ali's exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.
by Samantha Grant
A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism.
by Jason Osder
Documentary brings to life one of the most tumultuous clashes between government and citizens in modern U.S. history, as a longtime feud between Philadelphia police and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a tragic climax in 1985.
by Roger Ross Williams
Inspired by his own roots in the African American Baptist church, director Roger Ross Williams delves into the evangelical movement in Uganda.
by Yoruba Richen
Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, The New Black takes viewers into the pews, onto the streets, and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it looks at how the African American community grapples with the divisive gay rights issue.