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.
The Hand That Feeds (#419) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
At a popular bakery cafe, residents of New York's Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma L?pez has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.
Buried Above Ground (#420) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
What would you do if the worst thing that ever happened to you felt like it kept happening? Over 6 years, this documentary explores this question through the eyes of 3 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) survivors - Luis, an Iraq War veteran, along with his service dog Tuesday; Erundina, a survivor of domestic violence: and Ashley, an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina. The film explores its subjects' lives, gaining access to their home life, therapy sessions, and communities as they try to unburden themselves from the crippling lock of their past traumas. The personal battles fought by Luis. Ashley and Erundina illuminate a global health condition that is misunderstood, underreported and often left untreated.
Purgatorio (#301) Duration: 1:27:36 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Reyes' provocative essay film re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante's purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the US/Mexico border, the filmmaker reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film, in the auteur tradition of camera-stylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.
Town Hall (#217) Duration: 1:16:20 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
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.
Shell Shocked (#307) Duration: 1:03:23 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Follows efforts to prevent the extinction of wild oyster reefs, which keep our oceans healthy by filtering water and engineering ecosystems. Today, because of overfishing and pollution, wild oyster reefs have been declared 'the most severely impacted marine habitat on Earth' and no longer play a role in their ecosystems. Now scientists, government officials, artists and environmentalists are fighting to bring oysters back to the former oyster capital of the world - New York Harbor.
Old South (#401) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Hope is 30 years old and fighting to save her historic African American neighborhood from encroachment by an elite white fraternity, one known to fly a Confederate flag and hold an annual antebellum parade. On one block in Athens GA two communities steeped in history - one black, one white - strive to keep their respective legacies relevant in a changing American South, and the nation as a whole. "Old South" provides a window into the underlying dynamics of race relations that influence so many American communities. And ultimately inspires hope, reflection, and a crucial step forward.