Independent Lens 1999 | TV Show Watchlist

Season 5, Episode 13 Why Can't We Be a Family Again?; Downpour Resurfacing

First Aired: January 27, 2004

“Why Can't We Be a Family Again?” an Oscar-nominated 2002 short film following two Brooklyn boys as they struggle with their mother's drug addiction. Filmmakers Roger Weisberg and Murray Nossel's vérité chronicle, filmed over three years, has no directorial flourishes---it simply records telling moments in the relationship between mother and sons, and the grandmother who cares for the boys in their mother's frequent absences. Also on the bill: “Downpour Resurfacing,” poet-physician Robert Hall's meditations on the physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child. Filmmaker Frances Nkara accompanies Hall's words with dreamlike black-and-white images of dancers, of 1950s domestic scenes and a Japanese tea ceremony. They evoke a sense of peace---the hard-earned peace that Hall (who's in his 60s) has worked toward all his life.

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  • Premiered: August 9, 1999
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Premise: Independent filmmakers are spotlighted in this anthology, which concentrates on documentaries, but occasionally features artist profiles and offbeat fictional films. (more)

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