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
Trust (Episode #106)
KQED World: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 -- 5:00 AM
This film begins when Marlin, an 18-year-old Hondurena, shares a hidden history about her childhood with a neighborhood youth theater company. Marlin's story is about resilience: she endured rape as young girl, survived a harsh and difficult journey from Honduras to the US, suffered further abuse at the hands of her own brother, and overcame substance addiction. The film captures the amazing response from her fellow actors and the unexpected journey her story takes them on together: they transform Marlin's story into a daring, original play and Marlin re-claims power over the narrative of her life story. "Trust" is about creativity and the unexpected resources inside youth who may be discounted because of their youth, race or ethnicity or because they come from under-resourced neighborhoods without access to arts programs.
- KQED World: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 -- 11:00 AM
America Dreams Deferred (Episode #114)
KQED World: Wed, Oct 23, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
A young Latino man, William Caballero, juggles unconditional family love with the challenges of breaking the cycle that has kept so many relatives from reaching their dreams. Set against a backdrop of Coney Island and Fayetteville, North Carolina, an NYU graduate student turns the camera on his Puerto Rican-American family plagued by social, medical and public health issues. US health care and culture is examined through this young man's lens, which also explores both his and family's dreams. Many immigrants in the US aspire to achieve the American dream and this Latino family comprised of immigrants to second-generation Americans is no different. As subjective as the barometer of reaching this goal is, the film begs the ultimate question: who attains their American dream?
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 27, 2013 -- 9:00 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 27, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 27, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Oct 23, 2013 -- 12:00 PM
Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea (Episode #206)
KQED World: Wed, Oct 16, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
Once known as the California Riviera, the Salton Sea is now called one of America's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, that coughs up dead fish and birds by the thousands in frequent die-offs that occur. However, amongst the ruins of this man-made mistake, a few remaining eccentrics (a roadside nudist, a religious folk artist, a Hungarian revolutionary, and real estate speculators) struggle to keep a remodeled version of the original Salton Sea dream alive. Accidentally created by an engineering error in 1905, reworked in the 50's as a world class vacation destination for the rich and famous, suddenly abandoned after a series of hurricanes, floods, and fish die-offs, and finally almost saved by Congressman Sonny Bono, the Salton Sea has a bittersweet past. The film shares these people's stories and their difficulties in keeping their unique community alive, as the nearby cities of Los Angeles and San Diego attempt to take the agricultural water run-off that barely sustains the Salton Sea. While covering the historical, economic, political, and environmental issues that face the Sea, PLAGUES AND PLEASURES offers an offbeat portrait of the peculiar and individualistic people who populate its shores. It is an epic western tale of fantastic real estate ventures and failed boomtowns, inner-city gangs fleeing to white small town America, and the subjective notion of success and failure amidst the ruins of the past.
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 20, 2013 -- 9:00 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 20, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 20, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Oct 16, 2013 -- 12:00 PM
Code of the West (Episode #205)
KQED World: Wed, Oct 9, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
At a time when the world is rethinking its drug policies large and small, one state rises to the forefront. Once a pioneer in legalizing medical marijuana, the state of Montana may now become the first to repeal its medical marijuana law. Set against the sweeping vistas of the Rockies, the steamy lamplight of marijuana grow houses, and the bustling halls of the State Capitol, CODE OF THE WEST follows the political process of marijuana policy reform and the recent federal crackdown on medical marijuana growers across the country. Chronicling the opinions and reactions of patients, growers, politicians, activists, and community members on both sides of the issue, the story paints an image of what happens when federal and state governments clash with communities in the crossfire,and the individuals involved who ultimately pay the price.
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 13, 2013 -- 9:00 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 13, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 13, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Oct 9, 2013 -- 12:00 PM
The New Public (Episode #204)
KQED World: Wed, Oct 2, 2013 -- 5:00 AM
The New Public follows the lives of the ambitious educators and lively students of Bed Stuy's new Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School (BCAM) over the course of the founding year, with the filmmakers returning three years later to again document the senior year of that first graduating class. Beginning in August 2006, just days before BCAM will open its doors for the first time. Dr. James O'Brien, former D.J. and point guard turned first-time principal, and his faculty of eight, take to the streets in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn to recruit students. Their enthusiasm is infectious and enticing: strong support for the individual student, a rigorous academic curriculum and unconventional arts electives taught by local artists. While at first running smoothly, as months go by, conflicts arise, and by the end of freshman year, the school's idealistic vision is addressing some issues, but aggravating others. Flash-forward to September 2010, the first day of senior year, the school is complete with 4 grades and 450 students, with a faculty that has grown from 8 to 50. Of the 104 students in their founding class, almost half have transferred or dropped out, leaving a senior class of 60 and only 30 on track to graduate. BCAM has made major adjustments, most notably, more disciplinary structure and no arts electives for seniors. What happens in the 4 years is both compelling and frustrating, and it's what makes The New Public a critical document of the complexities, frustrations and personal dramas that put public education at the center of national debate. What makes a kid or a school succeed are a series of complicated, interconnected dynamics, including, a re-evaluation of how we define success.
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 6, 2013 -- 9:00 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 6, 2013 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Oct 6, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Oct 2, 2013 -- 11:00 AM