Independent Lens Poster

(1999– )

Episode List

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Current Episode (aired 3 Feb. 2020)

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

The July 1995 heat wave in Chicago claimed 739 lives in a single week, and became the most traumatic heat wave in U.S. history..


27 Jan. 2014
The State of Arizona
In 2010, the Arizona Senate passed controversial immigration law SB1070, also known as the "papers please" law, igniting a national maelstrom. Supporters call it a common sense law-enforcement tool; opponents feel it will inevitably lead to racial profiling. Neighborhoods empty, businesses shutter, and immigrants flee the state. Those who choose to stay organize boycotts, mass demonstrations, daring acts of civil disobedience, and prepare families for the possibility of separation by sudden deportation.
10 Feb. 2014
Spies of Mississippi
The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission's role in the civil rights movement, including the integration of the University of Mississippi and the trial of Medgar Evers.
24 Mar. 2014
All of Me
Morbidly obese women endure weight-loss surgery.
21 Apr. 2014
Muscle Shoals
Story of the 2 legendary recording studios in the Muscle Shoals area, on the banks of the Tennessee River. Producer Rick Hall overcame poverty and tragedy to create FAME Studios, where blacks and whites in segregated 1960s Alabama produced some of the most soulful music ever. The best music of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and many others was recorded there, backed by the mostly-white Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, aka The Swampers. When psychedelia turned white audiences away from soul music in 1969, The Swampers moved nearby, starting Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, at...
20 Oct. 2014
Twin Sisters
The poignant story of two girls from China adopted as infants by two separate sets of parents - one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway - who grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. Despite being on different paths, the magical bond between them grows deeper.
27 Oct. 2014
Brakeless asks what led the driver of a Japanese commuter train to accelerate perilously, causing a deadly crash?
3 Nov. 2014
Electricity Theft in India. Powerless captures the cat-and-mouse game of an outlaw electrician and the electric utility over illegal power hookups in Kanpur, India.
17 Nov. 2014
A nine-year-old monk has never before left his Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas, where the nearest road is a three-day walk. When connected to electricity for the first time, he treks to the nearest city in search of a television, in a story of the bittersweet seduction of technology and progress.

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