Independent Lens: Season 16 (2014 - 2015)

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Season 16
Independent Lens

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 13, 2014

The Season 16 premiere features Lee Hirsch's "Bully," which examines bullying in school through the stories of five young people, including two—one 17, the other just 11—who committed suicide.

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Air date: Oct 20, 2014

"Twin Sisters" tells the story of Mia and Alexandra, identical twins from China who were adopted as infants by different families—one from Norway and the other from Sacramento. The adopted mothers had met during the adoption process and noticed their similarities; a year later, after DNA tests proved what they suspected, the families set out for the siblings to stay in touch. And when the girls reunite at age 8, despite differences in their upbringings, they prove to be remarkably similar.

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Air date: Oct 27, 2014

An examination of a 2005 train crash in Osaka, Japan, in which a commuter train carrying 700 passengers hit an apartment building, killing 107 people, including the driver. The official investigation blamed the crash on the driver, who pushed the train to 117 kph because it was running 80 seconds behind schedule. The documentary uses the incident to explore how characteristics the Japanese view as virtues, including punctuality and obedience to protocol, may have become societal impediments.

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Air date: Nov 3, 2014

A look at the ongoing electricity shortage in Kanpur, India, an industrial town where frequent power outages can last upwards of 15 hours a day. The documentary focuses on a Robin Hood-esque electrician who reroutes wires to deliver electricity to the needy; and the head of the local electric company who is on a mission to stop the theft of electricity.

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Air date: Nov 17, 2014

A look at how technology is changing lives in ancient societies, focusing on a 9-year-old Bhutanese boy whose world is transformed by the arrival of electricity in the rural village of Laya. His worldview expands further when he and his uncle head to the bustling capital city of Thimphu, which features heavy traffic, indoor plumbing and nightclubs, to buy a television.

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Air date: Jan 5, 2015

The award-winning "Rich Hill" explores life in small-town America through the eyes of three teen boys in Rich Hill, Mo., a once-vibrant mining town that, like many of the families that call it home, has fallen on hard times. The boys include Appachey, 13, who is vulnerable, intelligent and prone to acting out; Harley, 15, who lives with his grandmother because his mother is in prison; and Andrew, 14, whose family frequently moves due to money problems.

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Air date: Jan 12, 2015

In "Evolution of a Criminal," filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe explores what drove him, at age 16, to rob a bank. To that end, he talks with family and friends; former classmates; teachers; law enforcement officials; and folks who were in the bank during the robbery.

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Air date: Jan 19, 2015

"Kill Team" tells the story of a U.S. infantryman in Afghanistan whose attempt to alert the military to war crimes committed by his platoon resulted in his being threatened by his comrades. He eventually found himself forced to choose in a split-second between doing the right thing, and possibly risking his life, or going along with them. Also: the animated "Confusion Through Sand," about a teen military recruit who finds himself alone in a hostile desert.

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Air date: Feb 16, 2015

Photographs taken by professional and vernacular African-American photographers over the past 170 years shed light on the lives of black families. The Thomas Allen Harris-directed film was inspired by author Deborah Willis' "Reflections in Black"; and features photos by Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Lyle Ashton Harris, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco and Clarissa Sligh, among others.

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Air date: Feb 23, 2015

An exploration of race in America that juxtaposes Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal's landmark 1944 study of segregation, "An American Dilemma," with modern life. Included: archival footage and news reports; home movies from the 1930s and '40s; and results from psychological tests of racial attitudes.

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