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.
Romeo, Romeo (#408) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Eye-opening, heartbreaking, and funny, "Romeo, Romeo" is an intimate portrait of a modern marriage, documenting the journey of Lexy and Jessica's attempt to conceive. The film offers a no holds barred access to the lives of the loving couple as they traverse the world of artificial insemination, from sperm donors to expensive and harrowing IVF to the possibility that Lexy might not be able to get pregnant. Filled with test tubes, laughter, and tears, "Romeo, Romeo" is a totem to the struggles and triumphs of marriage and family, and a relatable and compelling story that is both modern and timeless.
Kivalina (#423) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
At the edge of the world, the Inupiaq people are fighting for survival. Kivalina documents life on this namesake island that teeters on the edge of the North Pacific. Once a nomadic people, the Inupiaq were relocated to Kivalina, Alaska, by the US government more than a century ago. Today, the community struggles to maintain itself in the face of forces largely beyond its control. Climate change threatens to drown the village under rising ocean levels. The neglect of a government thousands of miles away delays repairs to the crumbling sea wall that routinely fails to protect the island from the flooding caused by ever more frequent storms. And, as the melting ice opens up the north to resource extraction and tanker traffic, an oil spill would wipe out the whales and with it the community. The everyday lives of the Inupiaq people carry on under the weight of these impending disasters. Director Gina Abatemarco and her crew document traditional hunting and food preparation, coexisting with the frustrations of teenage boredom and bureaucratic intransigence. Kivalina shows the consequences of colonialism, economic exploitation, and bureaucratic neglect for this community while foregrounding the voices of the people themselves. Intimate and unflinching, the film shows the cultural as well as the environmental consequences of climate change.
The Last Season (#417) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Amid the bustling world of central Oregon's wild mushroom hunting camps, the lives of two former soldiers intersect. Roger, a 75 year-old sniper with the us special forces in Vietnam, and Kouy, a 46 year-old platoon leader of Cambodia's Khmer freedom fighters who battled the khmer Rouge, come together each fall to hunt the elusive matsutake mushroom, a rare mushroom prized in Japanese culture and cuisine. However, the pair discover more than just mushrooms in the woods: they find a new life, and livelihood; and, a means to slowly heal the scarring wounds of war. Told over the course of one Matsutake mushroom season, the Last Season is a journey into the woods, into the memory of war and survival, telling a story of family from an unexpected place.
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.
Children of the Arctic (#410) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Children of the Arctic is a year-in-the-life portrait of Native Alaskan teenagers coming of age in Barrow, Alaska - the northern-most community of the United States. For these teenagers growing up has become a little more complicated than it was for their ancestors who originally named this place "Ukpiagvik" ("where we hunt snowy owls"). They are the twenty-first century descendants of a culture that has endured for millennia on this isolated, but rapidly changing tundra. The harvest of the agvik (bowhead whale) remains the heart of their culture - in the fall, motor boats and modern methods are used, whereas, in the spring, whaling crews use the umiaq (a seal-skin boat made by hand) and ancient traditional methods.
Yellow Fever (#313) Duration: 53:39 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Yellow Fever follows young Navajo veteran, Tina Garnanez on her journey to investigate the history of the Navajo Uranium Boom, its lasting impacts in her area and the potential new mining in her region. She begins as a curious family member and becomes an advocate, lobbyist, activist and vocal proponent for transparency and environmental justice.