Independent Lens: Season 2 (2000)


Season 2
Independent Lens

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Air date: Oct 2, 2000

In 1993, documentary filmmakers Dan Geller and Danya Goldfine followed 10 freshmen at Stanford University through their first year at college -- and, in many ways, their first year of life as independent adults -- in the film Frosh. Now & Then: From Frosh to Seniors examines the same students four years later as they prepare to graduate from college. Many of the students have changed a great deal since Geller and Goldfine last caught up with them; Chris and Gerardo, roommates so inseparable that many of their classmates were convinced that they were lovers, are no longer in touch with each other. Sam, once terribly shy, is now manager of Stanford's basketball team and president of his fraternity house. Debbie, an enthusiastic member of a sorority in the first film, announces that Greek life made her a "monster" and is now focused on women's studies. Monique, an African-American student from a broken home, nearly dropped out as a freshmen but is now a college graduate and the winner of a community service award. And her good friend Brandi, a solid student at first, has decided to take some time off from her studies. Now & Then will probably be enjoyed most by viewers who have already seen Frosh and can better appreciate the growth of its subjects.

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Air date: Oct 9, 2000

Three breast-cancer patients flaunt their bald heads at a photo session in "No Hair Day," a documentary in which the women also reflect about their struggles with the disease in stories that mix courage and humor. Another segment follows one of the women (Deborah Dorsey, the wife of filmmaker Bob Burns) as she undergoes chemotherapy.

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Air date: Oct 16, 2000

Dwarfism is explored in "Short Stories." Robert Byrd is the producer.

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Air date: Oct 23, 2000

"Born in the U.S.A." surveys childbirth practices in the U.S. Included: childbirth technology and the rate of infant mortality. Profiled: an obstetrician at a Philadelphia teaching hospital; a Seattle midwife; a Bronx nurse-midwife.

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Air date: Oct 30, 2000

Women motorcyclists are profiled in "Girl Gone Bad." Among them: a Los Angeles police officer, a Northern California divorce lawyer and a Playboy "biker babe." Louis Yansen is the producer-director.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2000

"Passing Through," about a Korean-American adoptee's search for his identity in his homeland; "Graham's Diner," a comic drama about a jaded photographer (Yolanda Snowball) who returns home, an action that's not good news for her family. Courtney Byrd is the writer-director of "Graham's Diner." Nathan Adolfson is the producer-director of "Passing Through," which chronicles his own visit to Korea in 1995-96.

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Air date: Nov 13, 2000

"Return of the Navajo Boy," an update of a 1952 documentary about Navajo life in Utah's Monument Valley, follows the first filmmaker's son as he visits the family his father profiled. One highlight: the family's reunion with a brother (named for John Wayne) who was separated from the family when he was a baby. The hour also explores the effect of uranium mining on the family. Lorenzo Begay narrates.

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Air date: Nov 20, 2000

"Music in Their Bones" profiles musicians in the Sand Mountain area of Alabama. Among them: banjo master and "mountain philosopher" Jim Connor; Marvin, Donna and James Etherton ("Mama's Looking Through the Windows of Heaven"); Gary Waldrep ("Old Mountain Home"); Verbel Clements ("I Married the Wrong One").

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Air date: Nov 27, 2000

"In Harm's Way," documentarian Jan Krawitz's meditation on how a violent act (a 1985 sexual assault) upset her assumptions about fear and safety, and how those assumptions---formulated as she grew up in the 1950s and '60s---were evolving anyway. "Carved Heart" follows Alaskan Native American Stan Marsden as he garners community support for building a totem pole in memory of his son, who died of a drug overdose in 1991. Filmmaker: Ellen Franksenstein.

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Air date: Dec 4, 2000

"A Wok in Progress," a video journal by gastronome Paul Kwan about his recovery from a 1995 stroke, his dreams following the stroke and the role food played in both. Kwan's sister, a recent immigrant from Hong Kong, is also featured in the film, and the meals they share bring back memories of his childhood. "A Wok in Progress" is the third film in a trilogy that also includes "Anatomy of a Springroll" and "Pins and Noodles." All three were made with Arnold Iger.

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