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 5, Episode 3 Shaolin Ulysses: Kungfu Monks in America

First Aired: October 28, 2003

“Shaolin Ulysses: Kungfu Monks in America” profiles five Zen Buddhist monks (all of them martial artists) who have immigrated to the U.S. They're “on a road trip of enlightenment,” says narrator Beau Bridges, one that has taken some surprising turns. For Xing Hong, it's Las Vegas, while Xing Hao and De Shan have settled in Houston, where they train aspiring Olympians (officials are considering adding kung fu as a medal sport) and police officers. The hour also visits the orignial Shaolin temple in China's Henan province, and traces its 1500-year history.