Community Cinema offers monthly special sneak preview screenings of films scheduled for upcoming broadcast on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. All Community Cinema screenings feature panel discussions with leading community-based organizations, special guest speakers, information and resources, and other programming designed to help people learn about and get involved in some of today’s key social issues.

The screenings, which are offered free of charge, will take place at the Missouri History Museum’s Lee Auditorium, located at Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue in Forest Park. The films themselves will be broadcast at later dates as part of Independent Lens on Nine PBS.

2012-2013 Screenings

Presented by the Nine Network and the Missouri History Museum, in collaboration with Independent Lens, ITVS and the Employees Community Fund of the Boeing Company

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by Maro Chermayeff, Jamie Gordon, Mikaela Beardsley

September 5, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Watch October 1 and 2 at 8:00 p.m. on Nine PBS

A landmark series based on the book by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky follows celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde as they travel through six countries to meet inspiring, courageous individuals confronting oppression and developing real, meaningful solutions for women and girls through health care, education, and economic empowerment.

View community reactions to “Half the Sky” from Carla Mae Streeter, O.P., Annie Wagganer, Mandy Schmitt, Dawn Manske, and Laura Beckert

As Goes Janesville
by Brad Lichtenstein
October 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
America’s middle class is dwindling, and the debate over how to save it is nowhere fiercer than in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin. In Janesville, as jobs disappear and families are stretched to their breaking point, citizens and politicians are embroiled in an ideological battle about how to turn things around.
View community reactions to “As Goes Janesville” from director, Brad
Lichtenstein, and attendees Julie Birkenmaier, and Chiffontae Ross

Solar Mamas
by Jehane Noujaim
November 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Rafea — a 30-year-old Jordanian mother of four — is traveling outside of her village for the first time to attend a solar engineering program at India’s Barefoot College. She will join other poor women from Guatemala, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and Colombia in learning concrete skills to create change in their communities.
View community reactions to “Solar Mamas” from Jean Brantley, Norman Ross, and Adelia Parker-Castro.

Beauty Is Embarrassing
by Neil Berkeley
December 5, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Artist Wayne White found early success as one of the creators of Pee-wee’s Playhouse and now his “word” paintings, which feature pithy and often sarcastic text statements crafted onto vintage landscape paintings, have made him a darling of the fine art world. This is a funny, irreverent story of the highs and lows of a commercial artist struggling to find peace and balance between his work and his art.
Following the film, local artists will facilitate group drawing, collage art and puppet making. Among the artists are John Pruitt and Emily Hemeyer, with 18andCounting using his DJ skills to provide a soundtrack for creative impulses.
Contains adult language
View community reactions to “Beauty Is Embarrassing” from Michelle Isserman, Damani, Gabrielle, Willy Zep, Em Piro, and Tara Daniels.

Soul Food Junkies
by Byron Hurt
January 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Soul food lies at the heart of African American cultural identity. The black community’s love affair with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some cases, deadly. Soul Food Junkies puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its significance and its consequences.
View community reactions to “Soul Food Junkies” from Catrina Johnson, Barbara Rankin, Duane Williams, Stacey Dabney, Roz Marx, Myra Jackson, and Vanity Gee.

The Powerbroker
by Bonnie Boswell
February 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Whitney M. Young, Jr. was one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders of the civil rights era. As executive director of the National Urban League, he took the struggle for equality directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents.
View community reactions to “The Powerbroker” from Larry Payne, Ayiesha Sabir, and Lorenzo Winston.

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
March 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Trace the fascinating evolution and legacy of the original comic book Amazon, Wonder Woman. From her creation in the 1940s to the superhero blockbusters of today, pop culture’s representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.
View community reactions to “Wonder Women!” from Khrys Vaughan, Rebecca Rivas, Sophia Dalpiaz-Brown, and Elisa Forgelman

The Island President
by Jon Shenk, Bonni Cohen, and Richard Berge

April 3, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is confronting a problem greater than any world leader has ever faced — the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. His is the most low-lying country in the world; a minor rise in sea level would literally erase it from the map.
View community reactions to “The Island President” from Debra Bass, Nandini Ramaswamy-King, Bob King, and Willem vonHombracht

The Revolutionary Optimists
by Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen
May 1, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Amlan Ganguly teaches the children of Kolkata’s slums to become leaders in improving their own community’s health and sanitation. Using street theater, dance, and data as their weapons, the children have cut malaria and diarrhea rates in half, increased polio vaccination rates, and turned garbage dumps into playing fields.

Join us for a youth led panel discussion following the screening.

Youth Panelists:

Anna Robson and Maleeha Habib; Leaders in Environmental Sustainability, from MICDS
Jami Cox, junior; founder of UCYS, University City Youth Society, from Cardinal Ritter
Jordan Mosley, senior; Officer with Congressional Youth Cabinet, from Cardinal Ritter
Rafi Brent, 5th grader; with the River Kids, from New City School
Amelia Carriel, junior; Duron Jones, 8th grader with the Tickets to Success program

View community reactions to “The Revolutionary Optimists” from Ellen Brasunas, Carla Mae Streeter O.P., and Felicia King

Love Free or Die
by Macky Alston

June 5, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Love Free or Die is about a man who has two defining passions that the world cannot reconcile: his love for God and for his partner Mark. The film is about church and state, love and marriage, faith and identity — and openly gay Bishop Eugene Robinson’s struggle to dispel the notion that God’s love has limits.
View community reactions to “Love Free or Die” from Annie Girresch, Kelsey Kinstle, David Mulanax, and Rev. Anne Kelsey

Presented by the Nine Network and the Missouri History Museum, in collaboration with Independent Lens, ITVS and the Employees Community Fund of the Boeing Company.