Independent Lens: Season 9 (2007 - 2008)


Season 9
Independent Lens

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Air date: Oct 16, 2007

The ninth season begins with "Wordplay," a portrait of crossword-puzzle creators and enthusiasts, with a focus on New York Times crossword-puzzle editor Will Shortz. Included: comments by celebrity aficionados such as Jon Stewart, Ken Burns and Bill Clinton. Directed by Patrick Creadon.

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Air date: Oct 23, 2007

"Please Vote for Me" examines the efforts of three 8-year-old students running for class monitor in an elementary school in Wuhan, China. The youngsters are shown campaigning for votes and participating in debates.

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Air date: Oct 30, 2007

"Storm of Emotions" recalls the efforts of the Israeli police to oversee the evacuation of Israelis from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank in 2005. Directed by Yael Klopmann.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2007

This little-known World War II battle with Japanese forces on the island of Attu is covered in this 2006 documentary from director Tom Putnam. Using the accounts of two surviving soldiers, the film tells of the tragic operation that saw ill-prepared American troops take on massive casualties. Red, White Black & Blue screened at Switzerland's Locarno Film Festival.

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Air date: Nov 13, 2007

"Miss Navajo" follows contestants in the annual Miss Navajo Nation Pageant, including Crystal Frazier, who's seen preparing for the event, which requires participants to demonstrate skills in music, dance and the rigors of everyday tribal life. Included are comments from other contestants and previous pageant winners. Directed by Billy Luther.

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Air date: Nov 20, 2007

For their documentary The Creek Runs Red, co-directors Bradley Beesley, James Payne and Julianna Brannum travel to Picher, Oklahoma, one of the most environmentally unsound of all American communities, where the land and water are intolerably bilious and the town's primary source of economic sustenance - a zinc and lead mining company - skipped town ages ago. Amid this depressing backdrop, the filmmakers unveil a single bizarre truth: residents feel uniformly resistant to the idea of leaving. Brannum, Beesley and Payne use screen time to both chart the growing environmental disaster that belies the town, and raise penetrating questions about the locals' seemingly inexplicable reluctance to move elsewhere.

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Air date: Nov 27, 2007

"Sisters in Law" profiles state prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Judge Beatrice Ntuba in Kumba, Cameroon. Ngassa and Ntuba help women fight difficult abuse cases.

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Air date: Dec 11, 2007

"The Paper" examines challenges faced by student journalists working on Penn State's Daily Collegian.

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Air date: Dec 18, 2007

"An Unreasonable Man" explores the career of crusading consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Included: interviews and archival news footage. Directed by Henriette Mantel and Stephen Skrovan.

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Air date: Jan 8, 2008

"Today's Man" profiles Nicky Gottlieb, an autistic man who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 21. The film is directed Nicky's sister, Lizzie Gottlieb.

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