Independent Lens: Season 17 (2015 - 2016)

SEASON:

Season 17
Independent Lens

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Episodes

Air date: Nov 9, 2015

The Season 17 premiere profiles Vietnam veteran Ron "Stray Dog" Hall, a burly biker from southern Missouri who owns and operates an RV park. The film accompanies him on a journey with other vets to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and also explores his home life, where he faces typical pressures, including economic. He's also newly married to a Mexican woman; and the arrival of her twin sons spotlights the gap between the America immigrants see and reality of modern rural life.

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Air date: Nov 16, 2015

The story of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student who was brutally raped and murdered in 2012 India. She had sought a better life for herself, her family and country, and hoped one day to build a free hospital in her parents' village. The documentary also explores the motivations and values of the six men who raped her via interviews with their family members and lawyers; and spotlights activists who are seeking to improve the realities faced by women within India's patriarchal society.

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Air date: Nov 23, 2015

The story of 92-year-old Mimi and her 64-year-old daughter Dona, who has an intellectual disability. The duo carved out a nice, if quirky, life together after Mimi's husband died in 1968, but things need to change: Mimi's no longer able to care for Dona, which means Dona needs to transition from living with Mimi to living in a state-run facility. The film from Sophie Sartain (Mimi's granddaughter and Dona's niece) also details how Dona's disability has impacted three generations of one family.

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Air date: Dec 28, 2015

"East of Salinas" documents the story of a bright third grader and his teacher in California's Salinas Valley. Born in Mexico, José has attended seven schools in three years; and his family shares an apartment with another family. His parents are undocumented, which means his-and their-future in the U.S. is anything but secure. His teacher, Oscar Ramos, who was also born to migrant workers, faces his own set of challenges, including educating students who often come to school hungry.

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Air date: Jan 4, 2016

"Chuck Norris vs. Communism" examines the role that Hollywood action-adventure movies played in fomenting revolution in 1980s-era Romania, a cloistered country behind the Iron Curtain led by dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-89). The films, which starred the likes of Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone, were smuggled into the country and dubbed into Romanian; and while they weren't five-star flicks, they showed the five-star life led by those in the West, including supermarkets full of food.

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Air date: Jan 11, 2016

Four adults on the autism spectrum share their experiences as they navigate the world of romantic relationships. Two, Dave and Lindsey, have been together for eight years, and have come to accept each other's quirks and ways of communicating. Lenny, who lives with his mom, struggles to meet and date girls. And Stephen, who's been married for 20 years, faces a sad challenge: helping his wife Gita, who's been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

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Air date: Jan 25, 2016

The Polynesian pipeline to the NFL is examined via the stories of four high-school players in Utah, each of whom face numerous off-field obstacles.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2016

The story of Mexican immigrant women who claim they were coerced into being sterilized while giving birth at L.A. County-USC Medical Center during the 1960s and '70s.

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Air date: Feb 8, 2016

A profile of Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, who learned she had six fractures in her left shin after reaching a career pinnacle—dancing the lead in "Firebird" at the Metropolitan Opera House. The film chronicles her recovery, emergence as a pop-culture celebrity and performance in "Swan Lake." Also: the lack of women of color at major ballet companies; and how ballet's emphasis on thin bodies impacts the health of dancers.

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Air date: Feb 16, 2016

The history of the Black Panther Party, a black nationalist organization founded in 1966 Oakland by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in response to the era's social conditions and turmoil. Included: archival footage; and remarks from Black Panthers, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors.

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Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Marcus De Leon

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