Independent Film Feed

WPBT2 premieres American Experience: Freedom Riders on May 16th at 9:00 pm.

FreedomRiders In 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad. That is, until an integrated band of college students, many of whom were the first in theirFreedomRiders2  families to attend a university, decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.

FreedomRiders3 These Freedom Riders experienced many trials and tribulations along the road. At many bus stops there would be gangs of people waiting there to beat them up or harass them Through their no violent protest the Freedom Riders were finally able to get the attention the Civil Rights Movement needed. The film goes into details as the Freedom Riders make their stops along the road to the Deep South. Witness the FreedomRiders4 different ambushes the Riders faced and the jail time they received. The most uplifting part is when more and more people joined the Ride. It was a time when Americans began to realize that every man was equal, no matter what color they were.

WPBT2 premieres American Master: John Muir in the New World on April 18th at 9:00 pm.


Muir Nearly a century after his death, John Muir is remembered and revered as the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra Club. It was this Scottish American who believed that it was our responsibility as citizens to protect our natural surroundings. And, by example and by passion, he taught us how to care for our wilderness treasures. Through his tireless advocacy and his writings, he almost single-handedly preserved the Yosemite Valley of California and was the force behind the creation of the National Park Service. Filmed throughout the majestic landscapes in which Muir traveled, this documentary places our nation’s most important wilderness assets in a cultural and social context. Muir’s story could not be a timelier reminder of America’s unique and, ultimately, threatened eco-systems.

The documentary also goes into Muir’s private affairs, as well. There is discussion on how he met his wifeSequia tree   Louie. Through his relationships one can see how Muir placed his studies on nature above everything else. He postponed his wedding and often would be on naturist adventures while married to Louie. His devotion to nature was shown through his daily actions and his perseverance to preserving the Yosemite Valley.

WPBT2 will premiere a four part series, Black in Latin America, a film by Henry Louis Gates Jr. on April 19th at 8:00 pm.

BLA Join Henry Louis Gates Jr. as he unveils the history of African presence in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. In this four part series Gates witnesses the presence of the African culture through art, music, cuisine, dance, politics, and religion. He also witnesses the palpable presence of anti-black racism in the previous countries. 

Episode one:
Tuesday April 19th at 8:00 pm.
BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA: Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided: In the Dominican Republic, Professor Bla2 Gates explores how race has been socially constructed in a society whose people reflect centuries of inter-marriage, and how the country's troubled history with Haiti informs notions about racial classification. In Haiti, Professor Gates tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves's hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire became a double-edged sword.

Bla3 Episode two:
Tuesday April 26th at 8:00 pm.
BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA: Cuba: The Next Revolution: In Cuba, Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro's Communist revolution in 1959.

Episode three:
Tuesday May 3rd at 8:00 pm.
BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA: Brazil: A Racial Paradise?: In Brazil, Professor Gates delves behind the façade of Carnival to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.

Episode four:
Tuesday May 10th at 8:00 pm.Bla5
BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA: Mexico & Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet: In Mexico and Peru,   Professor Gates explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people — the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States —brought to these countries as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific and in and around Lima, Peru.



A Night of Poetry Everywhere with Liam Callanan and Campbell McGrath is hosted by the Miami Dade Public Library System on Thursday April 14 at 6:30


Campbell A Night of Poetry Everywhere is hosted by Liam Callanan, executive producer of Poetry Everywhere, and award-winning poet Campbell  McGrath. The evening is dedicated to screenings, readings and discussions about poetry. The event consists of thirty different short animated poetry Liamcallanan films from different poets including Miami’s own Campbell McGrath to the current Santa Fe Poet Laureate Valerie Martinez. Each film features every word of every poem, both onscreen and in the soundtrack. These films are screened on public television and in buses, libraries  and classrooms. The purpose of these films is to bring poetry into public life.

O_miami A Night of Poetry Everywhere is presented in collaboration with University of Wynwood, University of Wisconsin, and the Poetry Foundation as part of O, Miami (, a county-wide poetry festival inaugurating in April 2011. Its goal is for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem during the month of April.

The event A Night of Poetry Everywhere takes place on Thursday April 14, 2011 at 6:30 till 8:30 at the Main Library Auditorium at 101 W. Flagler Street.

WPBT2’s video sharing website, uVu, will cover this special night.  If you cannot attend, take a look at the event on, keyword “Night of Poetry”

WPBT2 premieres Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton on Monday, April 11th at 10:00pm.

Hamilton REDISCOVERING ALEXANDER HAMILTON is hosted and written by prominent author and journalist Richard Brookhiser. The documentary focuses on Hamilton’s character in six chronological segments. The film is not meant to be “the definitive chronology of Alexander Hamilton,” but rather a look at particular traits in his character, his strengths and weaknesses, how they were shaped into being, and how they played out within the new nation that was being created around him.

To tell that story, the documentary combines traditional documentary techniques with Brookhiser’s exploration of Hamilton’s legacy and life in contemporary America. The film takes the viewer to the Hamilton2 Caribbean Islands where Hamilton was born, to Yorktown and Wall Street where he fought and worked, to Harlem and Weehaken, New Jersey, where he lived and died. A Treasury Secretary, Supreme Court Justice, publishers, pornographers, lawyers, warriors, Calypso singers and urban gang members speak about money, rights, news, war, sex and honor – all the themes that shaped Hamilton’s life, which led him to his early death resulting in modern capitalist America.

Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton is the second film in the Rediscovering documentary film series. The first film, Rediscovering George Washington, aired on WPBT2 in 2002.


WPBT2 and Independent Lens Premiere Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

WPBT2 and Independent Lens bring to life the story of a revolutionary artist in Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child premiering Tuesday, April 12 at 11:00pm on WPBT2.

Jean-michel-basquiat-07-press Centered on a rare interview that director Tamra Davis shot with her friend and contemporary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat over 20 years ago, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radian Child is the definitive chronicle of the short but brilliant life of the young artist who revolutionized the New York art scene almost overnight.

Told through interviews with his fellow artists, friends, and lovers, the film recounts Jean-michel-basquiat-03-press Basquiat’slightning-quick ascension from street kid to art world star.

In the gritty, crime-ridden city that was New York in the late 1970s, artists, punk rockers, and writers flourished in the grimy oasis of the East Village. Among them was Basquiat, a Haitian/Puerto Rican graffiti artist from Brooklyn, who covered the city with the tag SAMO. In 1981, he put paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he was an artist with rock star status.

In 1985, he and Andy Warhol became close friends and painting collaborators; however, they soon parted ways, and Warhol died suddenly in 1987. Basquiat’s heroin addiction worsened, and he died of an overdose in 1988 at the age of 27, leaving behind an enormous body of work including thousands of paintings and drawings with the potential to sell for more than a million dollars today.

Jean-michel-basquiat-04-press With compassion and psychological insight, Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.



Where was WPBT2 this week?

It has been a busy one, with stops at  the Arsht Center for the Fall For The Arts street fair, we hit the ground running this week, including stops at Sun Life Stadium, The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, The Kravis Center and Norton Museum of Art.

Here is some video from the week that was courtesy of WPBT2's uVu Video site:





Living the ñ Life

Mel Say Hello America, as once again WPBT2 launches a new weekly program for the "Que Pasa" generation.  From our friends at the Generation ñ website comes ñ Life.

And better yet, the program follows the return of the classic "sitcom" Que Pasa, U.S.A.? on Friday nights.

Catch Que Pasa, USA? at 11 pm and ñ Life with Melissa Hernandez at 11:30 pm. (pictured host Melissa Hernandez)

Here is a sneak peak from the first episode

 For more video visit or

A Chocolate Lovers Dream

Cinema Paradiso Presents

Saturday, January 30: 10am - 5pm

FREE Chocolate Street Festival and Movies!

Stroll down SE 5th Street or maybe drool down the street as anything you can imagine that features Chocolate will be on display to smell, sample, purchase, or just make your mouth water!

Valentine's Day will just be weeks away, so this will be your chance to pick up something unique and special for your sweetheart!


FREE events and films inside Cinema Paradiso all day!
Of course, what would an event be at Cinema Paradiso without Movies!

Join us in the theater all day for films and other activities!

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Miami Noir

Miami's world of crime and injustice has long been a subject of fictional film and television. The story of the late Miami City Commissioner, Arthur E. Teele, proves that fact is stranger than fiction. A rising star politician from the Reagan administration builds a promising career in Miami politics only to find himself at the center of a public corruption investigation. First came a conviction of threatening a public servant. Then, Teele was indicted on state and federal charges of unlawful compensation and money laundering. Following a local newspaper detailing explicit sexual allegations, Arthur Teele would commit suicide in the lobby of The Miami Herald newspaper building close to 6pm on July 27, 2005 at the age of 59. Miami Noir illustrates the dramatic chain of events that brought a man to take his own life. The film explores the black community's outcries, the media's influence, journalistic ethics, and the nature of the Florida State Attorney's investigation.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:00 p.m. on WPBT2

Continue reading "Miami Noir" »