The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards

Awards


Search Results for independent lens

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  • Independent Lens: 1971
    Independent Lens: 1971

    Nominee The story behind ordinary citizens who risked everything to uncover FBI abuse in 1971 explores the line between law enforcement and spying, accountability and abuse, and the role investigative journalism plays in democracy. ... read more

  • Independent Lens: Between the Folds
    Independent Lens: Between the Folds

    The potential of a flat sheet of paper and that of the human mind are the subjects of Between the Folds. An elegantly constructed celebration of the history and process of origami, it is never less than fascinating and often simply wondrous. To watch some of the world’s foremost practitioners of this ancient art turn single sheets of paper into astonishingly detailed, three-dimensional objets d’art—from full-scale alligators to delicate insects, from fairyland tableaus to Picasso-esque abstractions—is to see the very essence of creation, an idea coming to life. Producer Vanessa Gould chose well the representative paper-folders who bring forth these... read more

  • Independent Lens: Bhutto
    Independent Lens: Bhutto

    Bhutto is primarily a biography of Benazir Bhutto, the charismatic former Pakistani prime minister who was assassinated in 2007 when she returned from exile to challenge the regressive political order. But it‘s also a succinct account of the rise and downfall of her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan‘s first democratically elected prime minister, and a crash course in the history of this chronically poor, nuclear-armed nation whose fate remains tangled with that of the United States. Director Duane Baughman and editor Jessica Hernandez make superb use of plentiful news footage and photos available thanks to the Bhutto family‘s Kennedy-like status... read more

  • Independent Lens: Billy Strayhorn — Lush Life
    Independent Lens: Billy Strayhorn — Lush Life

    Billy Strayhorn is one of America’s least-known musical geniuses, a jazz composer, arranger and pianist who worked in the shadow of the renowned Duke Ellington, contributing such signature classics as “Take the ‘A’ Train’ and “Lush Life” to the Ellington oeuvre. The Independent Lens biography elevates Strayhorn and explores the primary reason he isn’t better known. Strayhorn was openly gay in an era when even free-spirited jazz musicians tended to be staunchly homophobic. Ellington, who instantly recognized Strayhorn’s precocity, gave him an outlet for his music, albeit at a price. Strayhorn didn’t share equally in the credit or the profits... read more

  • Independent Lens: Brakeless
    Independent Lens: Brakeless

    Rarely do we see a documentary running under an hour which takes a complex subject and examines it from every conceivable angle, yet does full justice to all its concerns and gives an almost total understanding of all the issues. Such a work is Kyoko Miyake’s Brakeless. It’s a film about the perils of speed that seems unhurried. It covers all the bases, and then some. Examining the reasons behind the 2005 crash of a West Japan Railways commuter train, which resulted in 107 deaths, the film places the event firmly into its historical, economic and socio-cultural context, while also... read more

  • Independent Lens: How to Survive a Plague
    Independent Lens: How to Survive a Plague

    When the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, better known by its acronym ACT UP, first staged protests in New York in 1987, the epidemic was in its sixth year. Most people who contracted the disease died. Drugs to stop or slow AIDS were nonexistent, research minimal. Hospitals rejected the dying, funeral homes refused their remains. Government and religious leaders tended to blame the victims. It was a dark time in more ways than one. How to Survive a Plague revisits that time, providing a defiant, boisterous, illuminating, and humbling retrospective of how some of the sick and abandoned took responsibility... read more

  • Independent Lens: India’s Daughter
    Independent Lens: India’s Daughter

    Essential viewing, though painful at times to watch, India’s Daughter chronicles the internationally infamous gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student, in Delhi in 2012, and the protest movement it inspired. Leslee Udwin’s documentary confronts head-on the hideous misogyny ingrained, almost enshrined, in India’s culture. To see Jyoti’s parents, bereft and angry, speaking tearfully about their beloved daughter, her dreams and her violent death, is heart-breaking. To see her rapist-killers not only excuse their crime by invoking ancient notions of women’s subservient place in society but also to justify the attack - “a girl is far... read more

  • Independent Lens: King Corn
    Independent Lens: King Corn

    Think of it as “Ian and Curt’s Excellent Agricultural Adventure.” College buddies Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, regular dudes who consume large quantities of junk food and wear their baseball caps backwards, get a wild, post-grad notion that they should grow an acre of corn and observe their harvest as it goes to market and manufacturing. They hook up with an experienced documentary maker, Aaron Woolf, and they find an obliging farmer in Green, Iowa, where both of their great-grandfathers grew up. What follows is a crash course on modern American agronomy and its dietary implications, touching on everything from... read more

  • Independent Lens: Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita
    Independent Lens: Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita

    In Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita, filmmaker Maria Finitzo puts a human face on a polarizing, highly politicized subject, stem-cell research. Her documentary focuses on Dr. Jack Kessler, a Northwestern University neurologist, who becomes obsessed with finding a method to repair damaged spinal cords after his beloved daughter, Allison, is left paralyzed from the waist down by a skiing accident. We see the intelligence, intense focus and patience that Kessler and his hand-picked research team bring to their laboratory research and the passion he brings to his attempts to educate people through newspaper editorials and speaking engagements. His staunch... read more

  • Independent Lens: Newtown
    Independent Lens: Newtown

    “Newtown” is difficult important viewing. The documentary returns to the families, teachers, and first-responders of Newtown, Connecticut, to recount the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and to examine its impact on the town. Early on, Sgt. Bill Cario insists that the world needs to know emotionally what happened but not specific gruesome details, and director Kim A. Snyder admirably adopts this as an ethic for revisiting this most horrific of events. As do its subjects, “Newtown” poignantly if painfully balances an observance of loss—“How do you grieve for 26 people all at the same time?” we’re asked—with a... read more

  • Independent Lens: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian
    Independent Lens: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian

    Speaking of the Oscar-winning movie Dances with Wolves, film critic Jesse Wendt, an Ojibwa, observes that it’s well-made, that it attempts to give its North American Native characters real dimension and is intended to be sympathetic. “But it’s not us,” he says, thereby encapsulating the overarching theme of Reel Injun, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond’s survey of Hollywood’s fanciful, confused, contradictory representation of Native people. Reaching back to the silent era, Diamond’s documentary appalls and amuses, sometimes both at once. Weaving together interviews with filmmakers, activists, historians and comedians with clips culled from everything from “cowboys-and-Indians” epics by John Ford to... read more

  • Independent Lens: Sisters in Law
    Independent Lens: Sisters in Law

    Documentary filmmakers remind us that the world is not everywhere the same, not as familiar as our own taken-for-granted experiences, not always as we wish it to be. With their cameras and microphones, they observe and record, comment and teach. Sisters in Law, presented under the Independent Lens banner, does all this as it takes us into Kumba, a small town in Cameroon. In Kumba, there have been no convictions for spousal abuse in 17 years, despite wide-spread knowledge that such abuse takes place. Director Kim Longinotto and co-director Florence Ayisi observe and record the work of women who change... read more

  • Independent Lens: Still Life with Animated Dogs
    Independent Lens: Still Life with Animated Dogs

    Written, narrated and animated by its director, Paul Fierlinger, Still Life With Animated Dogs is a playful yet deeply serious documentary about dogs the artist has owned and that have been important and meaningful in his life. This autobiographical work reflects not only on the attributes of dogs as Man’s Best Friend, but also on the nature of love, political oppression, artistic freedom and survival. Opening with the story of Spinnaker, Fierlinger drifts into memories of the many dogs he has owned. Episode Two regresses to 1950s Prague, Czechoslovakia, where we see the author, in his 20s, angry, depressed and... read more

  • Independent Lens: The House I Live In
    Independent Lens: The House I Live In

    This comprehensive look at America’s war on drugs takes the viewer step by step through the staggeringly unsuccessful attempts to rid the country of illegal drugs. The filmmaker unravels the policies of the drug war that began during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, while also showing how drug laws have historically been used to incarcerate unwanted citizens. Switching between legal, political, sociological and historical analyses of drug laws that have disproportionately affected those living in poverty, the film also demonstrates that the war on drugs is directly tied to the collapse of the manufacturing industry in the U.S. Interviewing drug dealers, police... read more

  • Independent Lens: The Invisible War
    Independent Lens: The Invisible War

    Sexual assault is epidemic in the U.S. military. A female soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. It’s estimated that 26,000 soldiers were assaulted in 2012 alone. Statistics like these have never been documented more personally or powerfully than they are in The Invisible War. The documentary catalogues rules and conditions that perpetuate rape and protect perpetrators. But the film’s real power comes from a series of wrenching interviews with veterans still coping with the aftermath of vicious, shameful assaults. From the Department of Defense down through... read more

  • Independent Lens: The Order of Myths
    Independent Lens: The Order of Myths

    In Mobile, Alabama, traditions run deep, and its annual celebration of Mardi Gras is among its oldest. The carnival that begins the Lenten season there actually pre-dates the more famous party that takes place in New Orleans. In Mobile, the secret societies (one of them named The Order of Myths) that organize the parades and balls and elect kings and queens are woven into every element of the city. With interviews and video captured in all these events, this documentary explores race, gender, class, generation, style, neighborhood, menu and music selection to explain the range of values underlying the Mardi... read more

  • Independent Lens: Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
    Independent Lens: Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

    Nominee A documentary exploring the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African-Americans from slavery to the present, through images that have been suppressed, forgotten, and lost.... read more

  • Independent Lens: Trapped
    Independent Lens: Trapped

    The legalization of abortion when Roe v. Wade became law in 1973 by no means halted reporting on the polarizing issue. Trapped is notable, though, for focusing on the motivation and politics surrounding “TRAP” laws, designed to restrict access to abortion, especially in Southern states. In three short years, such laws decimated clinics across Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, leaving some women in precarious, life-or-death situations. Director Dawn Porter takes a behind-the-scenes look at people working on a daily basis to keep clinics open and the challenges therein, humanizing a side of the battle rarely seen. It explores the motivation of... read more

  • Institutional Award: Independent Television Service (ITVS)
    Institutional Award: Independent Television Service (ITVS)

    If any organization can claim a foundational place in the flourishing of documentary film over the past generation, it is the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Conceived by independent filmmakers who saw a paucity of diversity in public media, ITVS was formed by Congress in 1988. Since then ITVS has had a broad transformative impact on the media landscape, particularly in public media. Viewers of films on American Masters, FRONTLINE, or American Experience may not be aware they are watching programming that wouldn’t exist without essential support through ITVS. Similarly, many films seen under the Independent Lens or POV banners are... read more