'Independent Eye's' new season

Critic's Choice: Television

April 22, 2001|By Chris Kaltenbach

"Independent Eye," the MPT showcase for independent film, makes its season debut tonight with a documentary focusing on one of the leaders of the ill-fated Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989.

Washington-based writer-director Mary L. Flannery's "Freedom Fighter: The Story of Lian Shengde," mixes new interviews with rare archival footage to tell the story of Lian, who now lives in the U.S. after being prosecuted and jailed in China. He remains involved with the freedom movement.MPT received 250 short films and documentaries for inclusion in "Independent Eye" this season. Of those, 25 were chosen to air.

Other "Independent Eye" installments in the coming weeks will include "The Last Chance" (April 29), in which a young boy imagines what life would be like if his father were still alive; Baltimore filmmaker Kristen Anchor's "In My Room" (April 29), the tale of a gay teen-ager and the imaginary (and welcoming) world he creates for himself; a 30-minute documentary from David Liban, "Voices of Dupont Circle" (May 13), about that Washington landmark; "In the Line of Fire" (May 20), from filmmaker Gregg Watt, in which a 13-year-old boy sacrifices everything to escape the wrath of his authoritarian teacher, Mr. Rattan; and "Pottersville" (June 3), Baltimorean Ben Scholle's updated take on "It's a Wonderful Life," this time focusing on recent college grad Jill Bailey and her unfortunate business dealings.

Rocker and Maryland native Joan Jett will serve as host for this season of "Independent Eye," which airs Sundays at 11 p.m.

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