When Dolly Parton sang 9 to 5, she was doing more than just shining a light on the professional fate of American women. Parton was singing the autobiographical tale of a movement that started with 9to5, a group of Boston secretaries in the early 1970s. Their goals were simple—better pay, more advancement opportunities and an end to sexual harassment—but their unconventional approach attracted the press and shamed their bosses into change. Featuring interviews with 9to5’s founders, as well as actor and activist Jane Fonda, 9to5: The Story of a Movement is the previously untold story of the fight that inspired a hit and changed the American workplace.
9to5: The Story of a Movement premieres on Independent Lens Monday, February 1, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.
Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Ellis Haizlip—Mr. SOUL! On the heels of the civil rights movement, the public television variety show SOUL!, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national television exposure. Guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, the series was among the first to provide expanded images of Black Americans on television and recognize the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. The film celebrates the groundbreaking PBS series against the backdrop of a swiftly changing political and social landscape, while profiling Haizlip, the charismatic man behind one of the most culturally significant and successful TV shows in U.S. history. With participants’ recollections and archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.
Mr. Soul! (86 minutes – Broadcast Version) premieres on Independent Lens Monday, February 22, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence (AI) is not neutral. From facial scanning used for policing and surveillance to automated HR systems that mirror and magnify workplace prejudices, these technologies are created with fundamentally biased building blocks. Emboldened by these troubling discoveries, Buolamwini joins a group of pioneering women to shed a light on the underlying biases in the technology that shapes our lives and threatens our democracy.
Coded Bias (86 minutes – Broadcast Version) premieres on Independent Lens Monday, March 22, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.
In 2017, Philadelphia had one of the highest incarceration rates of any major city in the United States. And it’s become the epicenter of a historic experiment that could shape the future of prosecution in America for decades to come. When civil rights attorney Larry Krasner mounted a longshot campaign to become District Attorney—and won—he pledged to end mass incarceration by changing the culture of the criminal justice system from within. With unprecedented access to Krasner’s office, Philly DA explores the most pressing social issues of our time—police brutality, the opioid crisis, gun violence, and mass incarceration—through the lens of one man attempting fundamental overhaul from within the system.
Philly D.A. (86 minutes – Broadcast Version) Coming to PBS’s Independent Lens in 2021.
The Donut King is Ted Ngoy’s rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975, and building an unlikely multimillion-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. Ngoy sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979, he was living the American Dream—but a great rise often comes with a great fall.
The Donut King (86 minutes – Broadcast Version) premieres on Independent Lens Monday, May 24, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.