Independent Lens Episodes

1999, TV Show

Independent Lens Season 2 episodes

A Wok in Progress Season 2, Episode 10

“A Wok in Progress,” a video journal by gastronome Paul Kwan about his recovery from a 1995 stroke, his dreams following the stroke and the role food played in both. Kwan's sister, a recent immigrant from Hong Kong, is also featured in the film, and the meals they share bring back memories of his childhood. “A Wok in Progress” is the third film in a trilogy that also includes “Anatomy of a Springroll” and “Pins and Noodles.” All three were made with Arnold Iger. read more

In Harm's Way; Carved from the Heart Season 2, Episode 9

“In Harm's Way,” documentarian Jan Krawitz's meditation on how a violent act (a 1985 sexual assault) upset her assumptions about fear and safety, and how those assumptions---formulated as she grew up in the 1950s and '60s---were evolving anyway. “Carved Heart” follows Alaskan Native American Stan Marsden as he garners community support for building a totem pole in memory of his son, who died of a drug overdose in 1991. Filmmaker: Ellen Franksenstein. read more

Music in Their Bones Season 2, Episode 8

“Music in Their Bones” profiles musicians in the Sand Mountain area of Alabama. Among them: banjo master and “mountain philosopher” Jim Connor; Marvin, Donna and James Etherton (“Mama's Looking Through the Windows of Heaven”); Gary Waldrep (“Old Mountain Home”); Verbel Clements (“I Married the Wrong One”). read more

The Return of Navajo Boy Season 2, Episode 7

“Return of the Navajo Boy,” an update of a 1952 documentary about Navajo life in Utah's Monument Valley, follows the first filmmaker's son as he visits the family his father profiled. One highlight: the family's reunion with a brother (named for John Wayne) who was separated from the family when he was a baby. The hour also explores the effect of uranium mining on the family. Lorenzo Begay narrates. read more

Passing Through; Graham's Diner Season 2, Episode 6

“Passing Through,” about a Korean-American adoptee's search for his identity in his homeland; “Graham's Diner,” a comic drama about a jaded photographer (Yolanda Snowball) who returns home, an action that's not good news for her family. Courtney Byrd is the writer-director of “Graham's Diner.” Nathan Adolfson is the producer-director of “Passing Through,” which chronicles his own visit to Korea in 1995-96. read more

Girl Gone Bad Season 2, Episode 5

Women motorcyclists are profiled in “Girl Gone Bad.” Among them: a Los Angeles police officer, a Northern California divorce lawyer and a Playboy “biker babe.” Louis Yansen is the producer-director. read more

Born in the USA Season 2, Episode 4

“Born in the U.S.A.” surveys childbirth practices in the U.S. Included: childbirth technology and the rate of infant mortality. Profiled: an obstetrician at a Philadelphia teaching hospital; a Seattle midwife; a Bronx nurse-midwife. read more

Short Stories Season 2, Episode 3

Dwarfism is explored in “Short Stories.” Robert Byrd is the producer. read more

No Hair Day Season 2, Episode 2

Three breast-cancer patients flaunt their bald heads at a photo session in “No Hair Day,” a documentary in which the women also reflect about their struggles with the disease in stories that mix courage and humor. Another segment follows one of the women (Deborah Dorsey, the wife of filmmaker Bob Burns) as she undergoes chemotherapy. read more

Now & Then: From Frosh to Seniors Season 2, Episode 1

In “Now & Then: From Frosh to Seniors,” filmmakers Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine follow up on their 1993 documentary “Frosh,” which profiled 10 Stanford University freshmen, all of whom lived in the same coed dorm. read more

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Premiered: August 09, 1999, on PBS
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Independent filmmakers are spotlighted in this anthology, which concentrates on documentaries, but occasionally features artist profiles and offbeat fictional films.

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