Through the lens of independent films, this series tells the many stories of a transforming American culture and its broad diversity. It takes an unfiltered look at relevant domestic topics (healthcare, immigration, the workplace, and politics) with personal storytelling tied to programming social themes. The series showcases films that will give viewers a "snapshot" of the transforming American life - the guts, the glory, the grit of a new and changing America. From contemporary life on Native American reservations to stories of recovery on the Gulf, from hardships and revitalization in towns big and small, to stories from city streets across the country, these independent, personal and opinionated films document the times in which we live.
America Reframed Previous Broadcasts
West 47th Street (Episode #124)
KQED World: Sun, May 19, 2013 -- 3:00 AM
Mental illness is a topic rife with stereotypes and misunderstanding. Made with depth and compassion, West 47th Street is an intimate cin? ma v?rit? portrait of four people struggling to recover from serious mental illness. They've all come to Fountain House, a renowned rehabilitation center in New York City's Hell's Kitchen. Over three years, the film follows its subjects as they deal with drug regimens, health issues, group homes and work programs with courage and humor.
- KQED World: Sun, May 19, 2013 -- 9:00 PM
Abused: The Postville Raid (Episode #110)
KQED World: Sun, May 12, 2013 -- 3:00 AM
This film looks at the effects of US Enforcement Immigration Policies on communities, families and children. It tells the gripping personal stories from Postville, Iowa, the site of the most expensive and largest immigration raid in the history of the United States.
- KQED World: Sun, May 12, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
51 Birch Street (Episode #120)
KQED World: Sun, May 5, 2013 -- 3:00 AM
Documentary filmmaker Doug Block had every reason to believe his parent's 54-year marriage was a good one. So he isn't prepared when, just a few months after his mothers' unexpected death, his 83-year old father, Mike, phones to announce that he's moving to Florida to live with "Kitty", his secretary from 40 years before. Always close to his mother and equally distant from his father, he's stunned and suspicious.
When Mike and Kitty marry and sell the longtime family home, Doug returns to suburban Long Island with camera in hand for one last visit. And there, among the lifetime of memories being packed away forever, he discovers 3 large boxes filled with his moms' daily diaries going back 35 years.
Realizing he has only a few short weeks before the movers come and his dad will be gone for good, the veteran documentarian sticks around, determined to investigate the mystery of his parents' marriage. Through increasingly candid conversations with family members and friends, and constantly surprising diary revelations, Doug finally comes to peace with two parents who are far more complex and troubled than he ever imagined.
Both unexpectedly funny and heartbreaking, 51 Birch Street is the first-person account of Block's unpredictable journey through a whirlwind of dramatic life-changing events: the death of his mother, the uncovering of decades of family secrets, and the ensuing reconciliation with his father. What begins as his own intimate, autobiographical story, soon evolves into a broader meditation on the universal themes of love, marriage, fidelity and the mystery of family.
51 Birch Street spans 60 years and 3 generations, and weaves together hundreds of faded snapshots, 8mm home movies and two decades of verit?footage. The result is a timeless tale of what can happen when our most fundamental assumptions about family are suddenly called into questio"
- KQED World: Sun, May 5, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
Also on KQED.org this week ...
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Enter the New "ImageMakers" Screening Room
Enjoy films from present and past seasons of KQED's short independent film series, divided into Animation, Comedy, Drama, and Suspense.