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Independent Lens
Genre: Arts
This acclaimed Emmy Award-winning anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. INDEPENDENT LENS features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. The series is supported by interactive companion Web sites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns.

Below is a list of broadcasts scheduled to air in the next 60 days on any of our three channels.

Episode #1403
Love Free Or Die
Faith, love, marriage, homosexuality and the Episcopal Church collide in the first openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Robinson is a man whose two primary passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner Mark. Robinson is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom. His consecration by the Episcopal Church in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir. He becomes the focal point as American churches debate whether or not lesbian and gay people are equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of God, while the United States at large struggles with legal equality for gays and lesbians.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1507
How To Survive a Plague
This film is the story of two grassroots coalitions -- ACT UP and Treatment Action Group -- made up of innovative activists, many of them HIV-positive, who fought to turn AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sat Jun 13th @ 11:00 pm

Episode #1520
God Loves Uganda
This film explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fueling Uganda's terrifying turn towards the proposed death penalty for homosexuality.
Learn more about this episode » 1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Jun 14th @ 10:50 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1617
Limited Partnership
Decades before The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, one gay couple, a Filipino American and an Australian, fell in love and over the course of 40 years took on the U.S. government to fight for marriage and immigration equality.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1521
The New Black
Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, this film 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.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jun 28th @ 12:00 am

Episode #1418
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey
This film follows the real life rock 'n' roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for iconic American rock band Journey. In this Cinderella story for the ages, Arnel, having overcome a lifetime's worth of hardships, must now navigate the immense pressures of replacing a legendary singer and leading a world-renowned band on their most extensive world tour in years.
1 hour, 25 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1509
Blood Brother
This film is a portrait of Rocky Braat, a young man who longed to find a family. He didn't know it but this desire would lead him to an AIDS hostel in India, a place of unspeakable hardship, where he would find almost more love and need than he could bear.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon Jul 6th @ 4:30 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1410
The House I Live in / as I Am
The House I Live In": As America remains embroiled in overseas conflicts, a less visible war is taking place at home, costing countless lives, destroying families and inflicting untold damage on future generations of Americans. For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever before. This program captures heart-wrenching stories at all levels of America's drug war -- from the dealer to the grieving mother; the narcotics officer to the senator; and the inmate to the federal judge. "As I Am": This short film floats through South Memphis resident Chris Dean's landscape, revealing the lives that have shaped his world. Poetic and powerful imagery combines with the young philosopher's trenchant observations about life.
1 hour, 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1402
As Goes Janesville
From the day the GM factory closes through a showdown with national resonance at the state capitol, "As Goes Janesville" traces the impact of the economic crisis on the people of Janesville, Wisconsin. The film records two years in the lives of laid-off workers, business leaders and elected officials all trying to reinvent their lives and their midwestern town amid the closure of their GM plant and America's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The story begins shortly after the factory closed in 2008 and continues through a standoff between the newly-elected governor and 14 Democratic state senators, one of whom is a main character in the film.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon Jul 13th @ 12:00 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jul 19th @ 12:00 am

Episode #1401
Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room") presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in "Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream." Gibney contends that America's richest citizens have "rigged the game in their favor," and created unprecedented inequality in the United States. Nowhere, Gibney asserts, is this more evident than on Park Avenue in New York. 740 Park in Manhattan is currently home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the country. Across the river, less than five miles away, Park Avenue runs through the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the United States. In this film, Gibney states that while income disparity has always existed in the U.S., it has accelerated sharply over the last 40 years. As of 2010, the 400 richest Americans controlled more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the populace -- 150 million people. In the film, Gibney explains why he believes upward mobility is increasingly out of reach for the poor.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon Jul 27th @ 12:00 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.


This list includes any broadcasts that aired in the past 2 months on any of our three channels.

Episode #1616
1971
In 1971, eight citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, took hundreds of damning secret files and shared them with the public and the press. Now, for the first time, they tell their story. By Johanna Hamilton.
Learn more about this episode » 1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1605
Happiness
Pyanki is a nine-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. The nearest road is a three-day walk distant, and Pyanki has never even left his village. In 2012, however, the world will come to him: Laya will at long last be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Pyanki's eyes. He will have access to 46 television stations for 13 hours every day. How will these images shape a child so isolated from commerce, materialism and celebrity? By Thomas Balmes.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1603
Brakeless
On April 25, 2005, a West Japan Railway (West JR) commuter train crashed into an apartment building and killed 107 people. Afterward, an official report concluded the cause of the accident was over-speeding when the train's driver tried to make up an 80-second delay. What made the train's driver risk so many lives for an 80-second delay? "Brakeless" looks at Japanese society and asks if it is bound to the pursuit of efficiency at all costs. Have the national virtues of punctuality and loyalty to protocol become societal impediments and even dangers to the people of Japan? By Kyoko Miyake.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon May 18th @ 12:00 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1615
Born To Fly: Elizabeth Streb Vs. Gravity
Follow the evolution of daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb's movement philosophy as expressed through her technique, lifestyle and challenge to assumptions about art, aging, injury, gender and human possibility. By Catherine Gund.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1414
Seeking Asian Female
Two strangers -- an elderly American man and a young Chinese woman -- pursue a marriage brokered by the internet, but they get more than they bargained for when she moves across the Pacific to start a new life with him in America.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1602
Twin Sisters
In China in 2003, twin babies Mia and Alexandra were found in a cardboard box and placed in an orphanage, where authorities separated the infants and concealed their sibling relationship. Two sets of prospective adoptive parents - one from California and the other from Norway - meet during the adoption process and launch an investigation that reveals that the girls are sisters. The girls grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. When the girls are eight, Mia and her family go to Norway to visit Alexandra, and discover that the girls not only look and act alike, but are unmistakably and inextricably connected to each other. By Mona Friis Bertheussen.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon May 11th @ 12:05 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1614
Kumu Hina
Over the course of a momentous year, Kumu Hina, a native Hawaiian mahu (transgender) teacher, inspires a tomboyish young girl to claim her place as leader of an all-male hula troupe, as she herself searches for love and a fulfilling romantic relationship with an unpredictable young Tongan man.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1409
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Ai Weiwei is arguably the most internationally celebrated Chinese artist of the modern era. The inscrutable bearded visionary burst onto the scene with vast conceptual installations such as his eight million hand-painted ceramic sunflower seeds inside Tate Modern and went on to design the iconic Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics. But at heart, Ai Weiwei is a troublemaker with a serious agenda: to challenge the oppression of the Chinese people by their government with rebellious and irreverent gestures. His activism has cost him his freedom repeatedly, but he never seems to lose his childlike approach to serious dissidence executed with a wink.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1325
Left By The Ship
JR, Charlene, Margarita and Robert are half American; they are among the many children born to U.S. servicemen who were stationed in military bases in the Philippines until 1992. Like most Filipino Amerasians, they were left behind by their biological fathers and largely forgotten. Over the course of two years, they delve into the psychological and social consequences of the U.S. military presence and its legacy.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon May 4th @ 5:00 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun May 3rd @ 4:30 am

Episode #1506
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Eighty-five-year-old Jiro Ono, considered the world's greatest sushi chef, is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearance, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make pilgrimages. "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" is a meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection.
1 hour, 23 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun May 3rd @ 11:05 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1613
The Great Invisible
Explore the stories behind the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill, from fallout to aftermath, and its continuing effects on a region dependent on nature. The film includes unprecedented access to footage from the oil rig before the spill. By Margaret Brown.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Apr 26th @ 11:05 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1514
Medora
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.
Learn more about this episode » 1 hour, 25 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Apr 19th @ 11:35 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sat Apr 25th @ 11:30 pm

Episode #1612
The Homestretch
Follow three smart and ambitious Chicago teens who brave frigid winters, high school pressures and homelessness as they fight to stay in school, graduate and build a future. By Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1511
Spies of Mississippi
This film tells 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.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon Apr 13th @ 12:05 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1611
Little Hope Was Arson / a City in Flames
This is a gripping portrait of a community terrorized from the inside out. In 2010, 10 churches were burned down in one month, igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. By Theo Love.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1412
The Island President
President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives is a man with a bigger problem than any other world leader has ever faced -- the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives, he must now ensure that his tiny country doesn't disappear under rising sea levels. That means capturing the attention of global superpowers, forging alliances, persuading the skeptical, and learning the ropes of international political horse-trading. Despite the size of his country and his political challenges at home, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Mon Apr 6th @ 4:32 am

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1519
Let The Fire Burn
On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated and resulted in the tragic deaths of 11 people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to "...let the fire burn." Using archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Jason Osder brings to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.
Learn more about this episode » 1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Apr 5th @ 11:40 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1609
American Denial
"American Denial" uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal's 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today. By Llewellyn Smith.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Apr 5th @ 10:40 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1318
When The Drum Is Beating
This documentary explores Haiti's complex past and present through the music of the country's oldest and best-known band and the memories of its founder and leader, Ulric Pierre-Louis. As Haiti disintegrates around them, the three generations of musicians who make up Septentrional struggle to persevere and prevent this national treasure from being lost forever.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Apr 5th @ 12:00 am

Episode #1327
Strong
Cheryl Haworth is a young woman with a big dream: to be the strongest woman in the world. As the 300-pound U.S. Olympic weightlifter prepares for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, she struggles with injury, confidence and her place in a world where larger women are not readily accepted.
Learn more about this episode » 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Mar 29th @ 11:30 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1610
Little White Lie
Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up with two loving Jewish parents. When she discovers that the man she's always assumed was her father is not her biological parent, she unlocks a powerful family secret about her real father's identity.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.


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