Independent Lens

Independent Lens

  • #2106 “Accept the Call” airs 1/20 at 10 p.m. – Twenty-five years after Yusuf Abdurahman left Somalia as a refugee to begin his life anew in Minnesota — which has the largest population of Somalis in the United States — his worst fear is realized when his 19-year-old-son Zacharia is arrested in an FBI counterterrorism sting operation.  Through the eyes of an anguished father desperate to understand why his young son would leave his American life behind to attempt to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, Accept the Call vividly explores racism and prejudice against immigrants, the rise of targeted recruitment by radicalized groups, and the struggles of Muslim youth growing up in the US today. This intimate film captures the story of a father and son attempting to mend their relationship, after breaking each other’s hearts, showing how a parent’s worry for their children is a universal predisposition.
  • #2107 “The First Rainbow Coalition” airs 1/27 at 10 p.m. – In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party, notably led by the charismatic Fred Hampton, began to form alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including the Latino group the Young Lords Organization and the working-class young southern whites of the Young Patriots. Finding common ground, these disparate groups banded together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar America to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing, calling themselves the Rainbow Coalition. The First Rainbow Coalition tells the movement’s little-known story through rare archival footage and interviews with former coalition members in the present-day.  While the coalition eventually collapsed under duress from constant harassment by local and federal law enforcement, including the murder of Fred Hampton, it had a long term impact, breaking down barriers between communities, and creating a model for future activists and diverse politicians across America.


Accept the Call Trailer

The First Rainbow Coalition


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