social studies

INDEPENDENT LENS
Evolution of a Criminal

 

Years ago, 16-year-old honor student Darius Clark Monroe was arrested for robbing a Bank of America. Seventeen years after serving his sentence, Monroe returns to his childhood home and encounters the people affected by the robbery: his family, victims at the bank and his partners in crime. In this emotionally compelling documentary, Darius, now 33, turns the camera on a past he deeply regrets and tries to make the audience understand how he came to make the decision he made without providing excuses for his actions.

 

 

 

Hafu

 

This documentary examines the intricacies of mixed-race Japanese and their multicultural experience in modern day Japan. The film follows the lives of five hafus – the Japanese term for people who are half-Japanese – as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in a nation that once proudly proclaimed itself as the mono-ethnic nation. For some of these hafus, Japan is the only home they know, for some living in Japan is an entirely new experience, and others are caught somewhere between two different worlds.

 

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Bully

 

This cinematic, character-driven documentary puts a human face on the devastating impacts of the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. At its heart are those with huge stakes in the issue: five kids and families whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying epidemic. The film, shot over the course of one school year, opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clichés and captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, communities and society as a whole.