PBS Documentary Series ‘Independent Lens’ Reveals Spring Slate of Films (EXCLUSIVE)

The Award-winning PBS documentary series “Independent Lens” has released its spring slate of documentary films, which will begin debuting on April 24. This season’s films will highlight a myriad of marginalized communities and current affairs by documenting both personal and important stories from around the world.  

First to debut is documentary film “Free Chol Soo Lee” from filmmakers Julie Ha and Eugene Yi. The Sundance favorite uses archival material to travel back to 1970’s San Francisco and tell the story of Chol Soo Lee, a Korean immigrant who was wrongfully convicted of murder, and the Asian American activist movement that sought to free him.  

Following is Anna Moot-Levin and Laura Green’s film “Matter of Mind: My ALS”, which will premiere May 1. The documentary tells the story of three people in the U.S. living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Reed Harkness’s film “Sam Now” premieres May 8, and shares the story of Harkness and his half-brother’s quest to find their missing mother. Jasmín Mara López’s “Silent Beauty” premieres May 15, and documents López’s healing journey after being sexually abused by her grandfather 24 years ago.  

Closing the season is Daresha Kyi’s film “Mama Bears,” which will premiere June 20. The documentary follows conservative, Christian mothers Kimberly Shappley and Sara Cunningham as they advocate for their LGBTQ children and the queer community. These two “mama bears” are willing to lose their friends and family and challenge their own faith as they fight for their children’s rights.  

“This spring on Independent Lens we’re looking at trauma and perseverance within families,” said Lois Vossen, executive producer of Independent Lens. “We spotlight a Korean immigrant whose life and wrongful incarceration inspired a watershed moment in Asian American history, excavate how women survived sexual assault within a family, observe young men as they face the pain of their mother leaving the family, and reveal the challenges of living with ALS. These intimate stories remind us of the dignity of each human life.”

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