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
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (Episode #209)
KQED World: Wed, Jul 30, 2014 -- 5:00 AM
This program tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home. At the film's historical center is an analysis of the massive impact of the national urban renewal program of the 1950s and 1960s, which prompted the process of mass suburbanization and emptied American cities of their residents, businesses, and industries. Those left behind in the city faced a destitute, rapidly de-industrializing St. Louis, parceled out to downtown interests and increasingly segregated by class and race. The residents of Pruitt-Igoe were among the hardest hit. Their gripping stories of survival, adaptation, and success are at the emotional heart of the film.
- KQED World: Wed, Jul 30, 2014 -- 11:00 AM
Radio Unnameable (Episode #202)
KQED World: Wed, Jul 23, 2014 -- 5:00 AM
Legendary radio personality Bob Fass revolutionized late night FM radio by serving as a cultural hub for music, politics and audience participation for nearly 50 years. Long before today's innovations in social media, Fass utilized the airwaves for mobilization encouraging luminaries and ordinary listeners to talk openly and take the program in surprising directions. Fass and his committed group of friends, peers, and listeners proved time and time again through massive, planned meetups and other similar events that radio was not a solitary experience but rather a platform to unite communities of like-minded, or even just open-minded, individuals without the dependence on large scale corporate backing. Radio Unnameable is a visual and aural collage that pulls from Bob Fass's immense archive of audio from his program, film, photographs, and video that has been sitting dormant until now. Revealing the underexposed world of independent radio, the film illustrates the intimate relationship Fass and, by extension, WBAI formed with their listeners that were strong enough to maintain the station?s role as one of the most successful listener-sponsored programs in the United States.
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 27, 2014 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 27, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Jul 23, 2014 -- 11:00 AM
Big Enough (Episode #125)
KQED World: Sun, Jul 20, 2014 -- 7:30 PM
In this intimate portrait, several dwarfs who appeared in Jan Krawitz and Thomas Ott's 1982 film Little People welcome the camera into their lives once again. Through a prism of "then and now," the characters in the film confront physical and emotional challenges with humor, grace, and sometimes, frustration.
Code of the West (Episode #205)
KQED World: Sun, Jul 13, 2014 -- 7:30 PM
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, this program 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, Jul 20, 2014 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 20, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Jul 16, 2014 -- 11:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Jul 16, 2014 -- 5:00 AM
Town Hall (Episode #217)
KQED World: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 -- 5:00 AM
This episode casts an unflinching eye at Katy and John, two Tea Party activists from the battleground state of Pennsylvania who believe America's salvation lies in a return to true conservative values. In Katy, we see a political novice rocketed to media stardom after a sensational confrontation at a town hall meeting with her senator. A young stay-at-home mom turned Tea Party spokesperson, she is gifted a new identity, steeled by the voices of conservative media. For John, a retired former businessman and lifelong Republican living in one of the poorest cities in the country, the America he knows is slipping away. Heading up a local Tea Party group is his last, best chance at stanching the changes he is witnessing all around him, but unable to afford his aging mother's health care, John has to make difficult decisions that reveal the complicated relationship between his principles and the demands of his life.
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 13, 2014 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 13, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 -- 11:00 AM
Building Babel (Episode #201)
KQED World: Wed, Jul 2, 2014 -- 5:00 AM
The film follows a year in the life of Sharif El-Gamal, developer of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque," a Muslim-led community center two blocks from the World Trade Center. With unlimited access to his home and office, the film paints a portrait of a Muslim-American businessman up against impossible odds. A passionate Brooklyn-born Muslim, Sharif El-Gamal sees Park51 as a centerpiece of his own Muslim American identity. Born of a Polish-Catholic mother and Egyptian-Muslim father, El-Gamal only turned to Islam after 9/11 shook his faith to the core, and sees Park51 as a way to give back to the Lower Manhattan community. Married to a Muslim convert and the father of two daughters, Sharif represents an Islam that remains foreign to most Americans, especially given the way the media and politicians have continued to use Park51 as a point of controversy. Despite a principle goal of helping to rebuild Lower Manhattan, opposition to the plan has been virulent and non-stop. Thousands of Americans have rallied against the prospect of a Muslim institution being constructed in such proximity to Ground Zero, and Park51 has become an internationally discussed symbol of Islam's relationship to the Western world. Building Babel follows Park51?s development through the daily experiences and struggles of the men and women trying to make it a reality.
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 6, 2014 -- 7:30 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 6, 2014 -- 6:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Jul 6, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED World: Wed, Jul 2, 2014 -- 11:00 AM