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.
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.
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 23, 2014 -- 12:00am
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 23, 2014 -- 6:00am
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 23, 2014 -- 8:30pm
My Brooklyn/Fate of a Salesman (#208) Duration: 1:59:11 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
My Brooklyn is a documentary about Director Kelly Anderson's personal journey, as a Brooklyn "gentrifier," to understand the forces reshaping her neighborhood along lines of race and class. The film asks how to heal the deep racial wounds embedded in our urban development patterns, and how citizens can become active in restoring democracy to a broken planning process.
Fate of a Salesman is an intimate portrait of a way of life on the verge of disappearing. In its 60th year of business, Men's Fashion Center in Washington, DC has come to represent identity, legacy and redemption for salesmen Willie and Steve and owner Jerry. But business has crawled to a halt in the face of a tough economy and changing neighborhood, pushing the store to the verge of closure. Set amidst racks of pin-striped suits and feathered hats, the clothing of a bygone era, the men struggle to redefine themselves as the place with which they have long identified begins to vanish.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (#209) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
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.
Downeast (#210) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Set during an era of US post-industrialization in which numerous factories have been exported, this program focuses on Antonio Bussone's efforts to open a processing factory in rural Maine.
Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek (#219) Duration: 1:23:27 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
This program follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Over the course of a decade, Derrick and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians and face ordeals that include Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster in their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice.
Drivers Wanted (#211) Duration: 54:16 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
This program reveals the impossibly eclectic community inhabiting a taxi garage in Queens, New York. Each day, a million New Yorkers depend on the anonymous faces behind the wheels, the men who tirelessly drive the city that doesn't sleep. The film follows Eric, a new immigrant from China with a fresh start in America. With dreams of his own business, and a wife and two young sons to support, he turns to a simple job - driving a taxicab. But the easy route proves to be a Herculean struggle for Eric, who can neither speak the language of his customers nor navigate the city's 6,174 miles of streets. Along for Eric's ride, we meet classic New York personalities, including the city's oldest taxi driver, the rumored inspiration behind Danny DeVito's Louie DePalma, and a melting pot of immigrants with dreams of making it in America.
Lulu Sessions (#213) Duration: 1:27:15 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
LuLu is unlike anyone you've ever met. A hard-living, chain-smoking rebel with a tender heart. A poet with a potty mouth. Farm girl. Former cheerleader. World-class cancer researcher. Beloved professor. Dr. Louise Nutter, or LuLu has just discovered a new anti-cancer drug when she finds out she is dying of breast cancer herself at 42. Shot during those last 15 months of LuLu's life, this program is a raw, intimate, yet surprisingly humorous story about the filmmaker showing up for her best friend and ex-something, and together, testing the limits of their bond while taking on life's ultimate adventure.