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.
Reversing The Mississippi (#411) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
A visionary inventor has created a technology that could change the world, but is struggling to inspire his rag tag crew when he meets a charismatic and rebellious teacher from New Orleans who challenges him to become a true leader.
Trash Dance (#302) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the unseen men and women who pick up our trash. Filmmaker Andrew Garrison follows Orr as she rides along with Austin sanitation workers on their daily routes to observe and later convince them to perform a most unlikely spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen trash collectors and their trucks deliver - for one night only - a stunningly beautiful and moving performance, in front of an audience of thousands.
American Arab (#402) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
In Kartemquin's American Arab, Iraqi-born Director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life's journey and "coming-of-Arab" experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab-Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland. Arab-Americans are not one monolithic group, but rather a diverse and complex array of many voices and cultures. This film weaves sadness and humor, anger and satire, provocation and understanding, embracing the multifaceted Arab American experience of post 9/11 America. By shedding light and giving clarity to a recent and difficult time for Arabs living in the US, American Arab shows how the struggles over identity within this documentary are universal.
Stable Life (#311) Duration: 53:38 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Dionicia M. lives in the stables at a California racetrack and works long hours caring for racehorses while her teenage son Jose Luis is turning heads as a hotshot apprentice jockey. Dionicia and Jose Luis have gambled their futures on the hardscrabble sport of horse racing. Will they succeed or will their lack of immigration papers prevent them from achieving the stable life of their dreams?
In The Game (#421) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
The the ups and downs of a girls' soccer team reveal the very real obstacles that low-income students confront in their quest for higher education. Set in a primarily Hispanic neighborhood, Kelly High School on Chicago's south side is an inner city public school struggling to provide the basics for their students, many of whom do not make it to college, either because they cannot compete academically or because their families do not have the financial resources to send them to college. The girls face an uneven playing field - or in the case of the girls at Kelly High School, no soccer field at all - little or no support, problems at home, uncertain futures, discrimination, and poverty, but remain undaunted thanks to their teammates and the dedicated mentoring of their coach.