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.
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.
If You Build It (#322) Duration: 1:29:24 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
This documentary follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what's possible.
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.
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.