Independent Lens 1999 | TV Show Watchlist

Independent Lens

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Independent filmmakers are spotlighted in this anthology, which concentrates on documentaries, but occasionally features artist profiles and offbeat fictional films.

Premiered: August 9, 1999

Rating: TV-PG

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Season 12, Episode 17 Desert of Forbidden Art

First Aired: April 5, 2011

The story of Russian archaeologist (and frustrated artist) Igor Savitsky (1915 to 1984), who singlehandedly saved more than 40,000 priceless pieces of art by artists who had been banned by the Soviet government during the Stalin era. To do so, he founded an art museum in Uzbekistan that he used as a front, telling authorities he was purchasing state-approved art when, in reality, he was warehousing banned pieces. The film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner.