The Picture Taker

1h 25m

The vibrant life of Ernest Withers—civil rights photographer, and FBI informant—was anything but black and white. From his Memphis studio, Withers' nearly 2 million images were a treasured record of Black history but his legacy was complicated by decades of secret FBI service revealed only after his death. Was he a friend of the civil rights community, or enemy—or both?

Episodes

  • The Picture Taker: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Picture Taker

    S24 E7 - 1h 25m

    The vibrant life of Ernest Withers—civil rights photographer, and FBI informant—was anything but black and white. From his Memphis studio, Withers' nearly 2 million images were a treasured record of Black history but his legacy was complicated by decades of secret FBI service revealed only after his death. Was he a friend of the civil rights community, or enemy—or both?

  • No Straight Lines: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    No Straight Lines

    S24 E6 - 1h 25m

    When Alison Bechdel received a coveted MacArthur Award for her best-selling graphic memoir Fun Home, it heralded the acceptance of LGBTQ+ comics in American culture. From DIY underground comix scene to mainstream acceptance, meet five smart and funny queer comics artists whose uncensored commentary left no topic untouched and explored art as a tool for social change.

  • The Big Payback: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Big Payback

    S24 E5 - 1h 25m

    An Evanston, Illinois rookie alderwoman led the passage of the first tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans. While she and her community struggle with the burden to make restitution for its citizens, a national racial crisis engulfs the country. Will the debt ever be addressed, or is it too late for a reparations movement to finally get the big payback?

  • Children of Las Brisas: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Children of Las Brisas

    S24 E4 - 1h 22m

    In Venezuela, amidst a backdrop of poverty, murder, and corruption, the El Sistema youth orchestra offers children hope and the opportunity to pursue a life of art in spite of the harshness of the society around them. Yet the country’s spiraling collapse and political repression threatens the musicians’ dreams of a better life.

  • Move Me: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Move Me

    S24 E3 - 1h 22m

    At 27, Kelsey Peterson dove into Lake Superior as a dancer and emerged paralyzed. But within the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) community, she found allies in her quest to discover who she is now and to dance with disability. When a cutting-edge trial surfaces, it tests her expectations of a possible cure. She finds herself both scared it might not work—and scared that it might.

  • TikTok, Boom.: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    TikTok, Boom.

    S24 E2 - 1h 24m

    What does it mean to be a digital native? TikTok, Boom. dissects the platform along myriad cross-sections—algorithmic, socio-political, economic, and cultural—to explore the impact of the history-making app. Balancing a genuine interest with healthy skepticism, delve into the security issues, global political challenges, and racial biases behind the platform.

  • Hazing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hazing

    S24 E1 - 1h 43m

    Hazing is a widespread, far-reaching practice fueled by tradition, secrecy, groupthink, power, and the desire to belong in fraternities and sororities on college campuses across the U.S. Filmmaker Byron Hurt embarks on a deeply personal journey to understand the underground rituals of hazing, revealing the abuse and the lengths college students will go to fit in.

Extras + Features

  • Trailer | Storming Caesars Palace: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | Storming Caesars Palace

    S24 E10 - 30s

    After losing her job as a hotel worker in Las Vegas, Ruby Duncan joined a welfare rights group of mothers who defied notions of the “welfare queen.” In a fight for guaranteed income, Ruby and other equality activists took on the Nevada mob in organizing a massive protest that shut down Caesars Palace.

  • Trailer | Outta the Muck: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | Outta the Muck

    S24 E8 - 30s

    Wade into the rich soil of Pahokee, Florida, a town on the banks of Lake Okeechobee. Beyond its football legacy, including sending over a dozen players to the NFL (like Anquan Boldin, Fred Taylor, and Rickey Jackson), the fiercely self-determined community tells their stories of Black achievement and resilience in the face of tragic storms and personal trauma.

  • Trailer | Love in the Time of Fentanyl: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | Love in the Time of Fentanyl

    S24 E9 - 30s

    As fentanyl overdose deaths in Vancouver, Canada reach an all-time high, the Overdose Prevention Society opens its doors—a renegade safe injection site that employs current or former drug users. Its staff and volunteers save lives and give hope to a marginalized community, doing whatever it takes to remain open in this intimate documentary that looks beyond the stigma of injection drug users.

  • Trailer | The Picture Taker: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | The Picture Taker

    S24 E7 - 30s

    The vibrant life of Ernest Withers—civil rights photographer, and FBI informant—was anything but black and white. From his Memphis studio, Withers' nearly 2 million images were a treasured record of Black history but his legacy was complicated by decades of secret FBI service revealed only after his death. Was he a friend of the civil rights community, or enemy—or both?

  • Trailer | The Big Payback: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | The Big Payback

    S24 E5 - 30s

    An Evanston, Illinois rookie alderwoman led the passage of the first tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans. While she and her community struggle with the burden to make restitution for its citizens, a national racial crisis engulfs the country. Will the debt ever be addressed, or is it too late for a reparations movement to finally get the big payback?

  • Trailer | No Straight Lines: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | No Straight Lines

    S24 E6 - 30s

    When Alison Bechdel received a coveted MacArthur Award for her best-selling graphic memoir Fun Home, it heralded the acceptance of LGBTQ+ comics in American culture. From DIY underground comix scene to mainstream acceptance, meet five smart and funny queer comics artists whose uncensored commentary left no topic untouched and explored art as a tool for social change.

  • Trailer | Children of Las Brisas: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | Children of Las Brisas

    S24 E4 - 30s

    In Venezuela, amidst a backdrop of poverty, murder, and corruption, the El Sistema youth orchestra offers children hope and the opportunity to pursue a life of art in spite of the harshness of the society around them. Yet the country’s spiraling collapse and political repression threatens the musicians’ dreams of a better life.

  • Trailer | This Winter on Independent Lens: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | This Winter on Independent Lens

    S24 - 1m

    Independent Lens, America’s home for documentaries, is keeping you entertained this winter with Children of Las Brisas, The Big Payback, and No Straight Lines. Watch these powerful, acclaimed new films live or stream anytime on the PBS Video app.

  • Hazing | George Desdunes: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hazing | George Desdunes

    S24 E1 - 8m 5s

    The tragic story of student George Desdunes is revisited from the perspective of his mother, a Haitian immigrant who made sacrifices to help her son go to college.

  • Hazing | Ryan Abele: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hazing | Ryan Abele

    S24 E1 - 7m 18s

    Ryan Abele's parents thought his frat brothers would look out for him. Instead, alleged hazing led to his death.

  • Trailer | This Fall on Independent Lens: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | This Fall on Independent Lens

    S24 - 1m

    Independent Lens, America’s home for documentaries, returns Monday, September 12, with Hazing, followed by TikTok, Boom., and Move Me. Watch these powerful, acclaimed new films live or stream anytime on the PBS Video app.

Schedule

  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Outta the Muck

    Monday
    Feb 6

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Besides sending more than a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee, Fla., boasts a legacy of resilience and achievement despite great storms and personal trauma.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Outta the Muck

    Tuesday
    Feb 7

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Besides sending more than a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee, Fla., boasts a legacy of resilience and achievement despite great storms and personal trauma.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Outta the Muck

    Wednesday
    Feb 8

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Besides sending more than a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee, Fla., boasts a legacy of resilience and achievement despite great storms and personal trauma.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Outta the Muck

    Thursday
    Feb 9

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Besides sending more than a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee, Fla., boasts a legacy of resilience and achievement despite great storms and personal trauma.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Outta the Muck

    Thursday
    Feb 9

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Besides sending more than a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee, Fla., boasts a legacy of resilience and achievement despite great storms and personal trauma.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Iconic

    Independent Lens

    The Trials of Muhammad Ali

    Thursday
    Feb 9

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    From 1967 to 1970, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his heavyweight title and banned from boxing after he refuses U.S. military service.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Iconic

    Independent Lens

    Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

    Thursday
    Feb 9

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Events, passions and experiences that impacted the life and music of jazz artist John Coltrane.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Iconic

    Independent Lens

    The Trials of Muhammad Ali

    Friday
    Feb 10

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    From 1967 to 1970, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his heavyweight title and banned from boxing after he refuses U.S. military service.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Iconic

    Independent Lens

    Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

    Friday
    Feb 10

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Events, passions and experiences that impacted the life and music of jazz artist John Coltrane.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Outta the Muck

    Saturday
    Feb 11

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Besides sending more than a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee, Fla., boasts a legacy of resilience and achievement despite great storms and personal trauma.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Iconic

    Independent Lens

    Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

    Saturday
    Feb 11

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Exploring the promise of U.S. housing policies.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Iconic

    Independent Lens

    Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

    Sunday
    Feb 12

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Exploring the promise of U.S. housing policies.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    When Claude Got Shot

    Monday
    Feb 13

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    After getting shot in the face by a 15-year-old, Claude's path to recovery leads to forgiveness.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Love in the Time of Fentanyl

    Monday
    Feb 13

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    The Overdose Prevention Society gives hope to a community as deaths in Vancouver reach an all-time high.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    When Claude Got Shot

    Tuesday
    Feb 14

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    After getting shot in the face by a 15-year-old, Claude's path to recovery leads to forgiveness.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    When Claude Got Shot

    Tuesday
    Feb 14

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    After getting shot in the face by a 15-year-old, Claude's path to recovery leads to forgiveness.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Love in the Time of Fentanyl

    Wednesday
    Feb 15

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    The Overdose Prevention Society gives hope to a community as deaths in Vancouver reach an all-time high.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Love in the Time of Fentanyl

    Thursday
    Feb 16

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    The Overdose Prevention Society gives hope to a community as deaths in Vancouver reach an all-time high.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Love in the Time of Fentanyl

    Thursday
    Feb 16

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    The Overdose Prevention Society gives hope to a community as deaths in Vancouver reach an all-time high.
  • Image
    Independent Lens: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Independent Lens

    Ferguson Rises

    Thursday
    Feb 16

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Michael Brown Sr. seeks justice and healing after his son is killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

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