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Independent Lens

'Home from School' Tells One Story of Indian Boarding Schools in Order to Heal

Daniel Hautzinger

The new documentary Home from School tells the story of the Northern Arapaho's efforts to repatriate the remains of three children who died at an assimilationist boarding school more than a century ago. “This film talks about closing those cycles [of generational trauma]," says an associate producer.

Some of PBS's Best Documentaries, According to 'Esquire'

Daniel Hautzinger

Esquire recently pointed out that, while Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and other streaming services have been making waves with documentaries over the past few years, PBS has been offering top-level documentaries for decades.

Addressing Mass Incarceration From Within the System

Daniel Hautzinger

Hear from the filmmaker of the new Independent Lens series Philly D.A., which follows reformer Larry Krasner as he attempts to change the culture of the district attorney's office and reduce mass incarceration in the country's most incarcerated city with progressive policies.

Beyond the Silicon Solar Cell: The Exciting Promise of Solar Technologies

Daniel Hautzinger

Researchers at places like Northwestern University's Institute for Sustainability and Energy are working on creating liquid fuels using solar technology as well as developing more efficient, inexpensive, flexible solar cells. 

The Funding Cliff Facing Illinois's Growing Solar Industry

Daniel Hautzinger

Illinois's solar industry has rapidly expanded in the past few years, but as governmental funding runs out and the COVID-19 pandemic lowers business, the future is looking uncertain. "Without immediate legislation, our company is going to look very, very different next year,” says the CEO of a solar installation company. 

What Women Face When They Run for Local Office

Daniel Hautzinger

The documentary Represent follows three women candidates in the Midwest as they run for local office, including a Korean American Republican running on Chicago's North Shore. "A woman called me a white nationalist," she says. "And I thought, 'Me?' "

PBS Programs Nominated for a 2019 Academy Award

Daniel Hautzinger

Two of the five films nominated for Academy Awards this year in the Documentary category will soon air on PBS: Hale County This Morning, This Evening and Minding the Gap. Watch a trailer and interview with a director here. 

'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' the Mister Rogers Documentary, Comes to PBS

Daniel Hautzinger

The critically acclaimed film about Fred Rogers, which is the top-grossing biographical documentary of all time, is coming to WTTW in February. 

From the Archive: Cesar Chavez

Daniel Hautzinger

Before watching Independent Lens: Dolores, take a look back at this 1985 interview with Dolores Huerta's compatriot and fellow labor organizer Cesar Chavez, in which he discusses his activism, the decline of labor, and the difficulties facing the movement.

'Forever Pure:' The Nationalism of an Israeli Football Team

Daniel Hautzinger

Forever Pure follows the story of Israel's most popular and controversial football team, the only club to never sign an Arab, when it signs two Muslim players from Chechnya. Filmmaker Maya Zinshtein discusses the documentary.

The Human Impact of Drone Warfare

Daniel Hautzinger

The documentary National Bird shows the effect of drone warfare on the pilots operating the drones as well as the victims of strikes.  "The impact of these military drones goes far beyond just killing a civilian," says the documentary's director Sonia Kennebeck. 

What's Taboo? Nothing, for These Comedians

Daniel Hautzinger

Monday, April 24 at 10:00 pm, Independent Lens: The Last Laugh explores what's taboo in comedy, focusing on the Holocaust. Meet some of the controversial and transgressive comedians who appear in the film, including Mel Brooks and Sarah Silverman.

Grief and Resilience in 'Newtown'

Daniel Hautzinger

Filmmaker Kim A. Snyder discusses her film about the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  “I simply think it’s important to give these people a voice and to bear witness."
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