Independent Lens

Independent Lens

  • 1999
  • 22 Seasons
  • 7.9  (473)

Independent Lens is series on PBS that airs dramatic and documentary films. The series is always hosted by a well-known actor or actress. The films that the show airs usually have been on the independent theater circuit and have received wide-acclaim and awards. The show is called Independent Lens because the films highlighted in the series are all shot by independent directors and producers. There is no big studio or corporate influence. The films all deal with contemporary social issues or international political concerns. Some of the films that Independent Lens has shown have gone on to win Academy Awards for best documentary films. One example of this is the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room. This film dealt with the rise and fall of the Enron corporation, which resulted in many of the firm employees losing their pensions because the company have been lying in its accounting. Each episode is a film dealing with a contemporary topic. Sometimes the series tackles difficult issues such as documentaries filmed in war-town regions or a drug abuser's home. Other episodes are more informative-based with a light-hearted look at an aspect of American life, such as episodes looking at popular cuisines. There are episodes that deal with the rise of hip-hop music and even one dedicated to teenagers preparing for prom. The stated goal of the series is to show viewers an aspect of the world by taking them to a corner that they otherwise would not see. The films shown on Independent Lens are of a diverse nature. There are episodes that focus on the historical backgrounds of comic book characters. There is episode that examines the difficulties between the rich and poor in America by focusing on one street in New York City that goes through bad neighborhood and good neighborhoods. Sometimes the series focuses on problems from a global perspective looking an political and finances and other issues that span several different countries. Other times, the episodes pick a town or a street and take a narrow focus on some issue there. Every year, viewers vote on what the best documentary film was and it receives the Audience Award.

Independent Lens
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Seasons
Down A Dark Stairwell
12. Down A Dark Stairwell
April 12, 2021
Two marginalized communities must navigate an uneven criminal justice system together.
'til Kingdom Come/the Debate
11. 'til Kingdom Come/the Debate
March 29, 2021
Pastors encourage an impoverished community to donate to Israel in anticipation of Jesus's return.
Coded Bias
10. Coded Bias
March 22, 2021
Join the fight to expose threats to civil liberties posed by our new data-driven, automated world.
Mr. SOUL!
9. Mr. SOUL!
February 22, 2021
Mr. SOUL! explores the first nationally broadcast all-Black variety show on public television, Ellis Haizlip's SOUL!
Women In Blue
8. Women In Blue
February 8, 2021
Female Minneapolis police officers seek gender equity. A fatal shooting threatens their progress.
9to5: The Story Of A Movement
7. 9to5: The Story Of A Movement
February 1, 2021
When Dolly Parton sang "9 to 5," she was singing the true story of a movement that started with 9to5, a group of Boston secretaries in the early 1970s. Their goals were simple
A Day In The Life Of America
6. A Day In The Life Of America
January 11, 2021
On July 4, 2017, more than 90 film crews across the country capture one day in the life of America.
A Woman's Work: The Nfl's Cheerleader Problem
5. A Woman's Work: The Nfl's Cheerleader Problem
January 4, 2021
NFL cheerleaders revolve their lives around their sport, but most earn less than minimum wage. Three of them decide they deserve more. In high-stakes lawsuits, these courageous women take a stand against the massive, male-dominated sports league.
Belly Of The Beast
4. Belly Of The Beast
November 23, 2020
Hear the horrifying truth about modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prison.
Jonathan Scott's Power Trip
3. Jonathan Scott's Power Trip
November 16, 2020
Follow Jonathan Scott on his mission to flip the switch on how Americans access power.
Represent
2. Represent
October 26, 2020
Leading up to 2018 elections, three Midwestern women tackle politics on their own terms.
Feels Good Man
1. Feels Good Man
October 19, 2020
Pepe the Frog’s surreal journey from mellow cartoon character to registered hate symbol.
Independent Lens
Independent Lens

Slideshow - 17 sec

Description

Independent Lens is series on PBS that airs dramatic and documentary films. The series is always hosted by a well-known actor or actress. The films that the show airs usually have been on the independent theater circuit and have received wide-acclaim and awards. The show is called Independent Lens because the films highlighted in the series are all shot by independent directors and producers. There is no big studio or corporate influence.

The films all deal with contemporary social issues or international political concerns. Some of the films that Independent Lens has shown have gone on to win Academy Awards for best documentary films. One example of this is the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room. This film dealt with the rise and fall of the Enron corporation, which resulted in many of the firm employees losing their pensions because the company have been lying in its accounting.

Each episode is a film dealing with a contemporary topic. Sometimes the series tackles difficult issues such as documentaries filmed in war-town regions or a drug abuser's home. Other episodes are more informative-based with a light-hearted look at an aspect of American life, such as episodes looking at popular cuisines. There are episodes that deal with the rise of hip-hop music and even one dedicated to teenagers preparing for prom. The stated goal of the series is to show viewers an aspect of the world by taking them to a corner that they otherwise would not see.

The films shown on Independent Lens are of a diverse nature. There are episodes that focus on the historical backgrounds of comic book characters. There is episode that examines the difficulties between the rich and poor in America by focusing on one street in New York City that goes through bad neighborhood and good neighborhoods.

Sometimes the series focuses on problems from a global perspective looking an political and finances and other issues that span several different countries. Other times, the episodes pick a town or a street and take a narrow focus on some issue there.

Every year, viewers vote on what the best documentary film was and it receives the Audience Award.Independent Lens is a series that is currently running and has 22 seasons (453 episodes). The series first aired on August 9, 1999.

Where to Watch Independent Lens

Independent Lens is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Independent Lens on demand at Vudu and PBS.

  • Premiere Date
    August 9, 1999
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (473)