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.
70 Acres In Chicago (#502) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Twenty-years in the making, 70 Acres in Chicago tells the story of the Cabrini Green public housing development located on the most hotly contested 70 acres of land in Chicago. With its prime central location, Cabrini Green was initially hailed as a public housing triumph, then later demonized as an urban disaster. It was demolished over a period of 15 years beginning in 1995, and repackaged as a "mixed income" development. Critics contend that the motivation was economic gain, as public housing's prime real estate became too valuable for the low-income Black communities that once lived there. The few Cabrini residents who were able to move into the highly regulated mixed income settlement are negotiating through difficult cultural territory. Encounters between the former Cabrini residents and the new white middle-class homeowners comprise the very real tensions of a newly constructed community in transition. 70 Acres in Chicago tells the volatile story of these 70 acres, while looking unflinchingly at race, class, and who has the right to live in the city. The film uses personal stories, expert commentary, and informative history to celebrate the spirit of a unique community and to mourn its betrayal and destruction.
By Blood (#424) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
By Blood chronicles American Indians of African descent as they battle to regain their tribal citizenship. The film explores the impact of this battle, which has manifested into a broader conflict about race, identity, and the sovereign rights of indigenous people. The film demonstrates both sides of the battle, the shared emotional impact of the issue, and the rising urgency of the debate: a Native American and African American history has been overlooked, and a tribal body feels as though their sovereignty is under siege.
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.
Radical Grace (#503) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
When the Vatican reprimands U.S. nuns, citing their "radical feminism, " three U.S. Catholic activist nuns ponder what it means for them to be devoted to a historically male-driven institution like the Vatican. United by common bonds, the nuns' courageous work follows social teachings of justice, equality, and freedom from poverty and oppression.
Divide In Concord (#407) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
The year was 1775 in Concord, Massachusetts when colonists fired the infamous 'shot heard round the world' that began the American Revolution. One hundred years later, the work of local resident Henry David Thoreau began the environmental movement. And now, the spirit of revolution has returned to town. Jean Hill, a fiery 84-year-old widow and mother of four, wants to ban the sale of bottled water from Concord. Her path begins when her grandson tells her about the disastrous environmental effects of the empty plastic bottles Jean presents a bylaw to ban the sale of single-serve plastic bottles at the 2010 and 2011 Town Meetings. After losing by seven votes in 2011, she vows to continue the crusade with neighbor and Harvard Law Grad, Jill Appel. If enacted, the law would be the first of its kind in the world. But all are not in agreement with the ban. Merchants are wary of the bylaw. Philanthropist, mother, model and celebrity publicist Adriana Cohen takes the fight to the spotlight, calling the ban an attack on freedom. With billions of dollars at stake, The International Bottled Water Association sends in the cavalry. The town is abuzz as Patriot's Day celebrations begin. War re-enactors take the field, cannons fire at dawn, and the parades commence. April's Town Meeting provides the stage for Concord's latest battle. From the town that began America and Environmentalism, springs a new Revolution.
Enter The Faun (#504) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Tracing the unlikely collaboration between a veteran choreographer and a young actor with cerebral palsy, this story challenges the boundaries of medicine and art to prove that every body is capable of miraculous transformation.