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#1

methespy

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Posted Jun 23, 2006 @ 12:56 PM

I couldn't find any threads about this amazing PBS program. I watched the second part of 'The Lion in the House' last night and I'm still crying on the inside. Last night I was biting the inside of my cheek, balling my hands into fists, just praying and praying for these kids. Oh did I mention I'm a staunch atheist? When Timmy died I just lost it. He tried so hard. I just can't comprehend any of it.
And this happens every week when I watch Independent Lens. Such an amazing program!
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#2

liesel

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Posted Jun 23, 2006 @ 2:18 PM

I'm so glad you started a thread for this...amazing program. It touched me deeply as my child has just begun dealing with a serious neurological condition at Cincinnati Children's...everyone I've encountered there is so wonderful and caring and this was so evident as I watched them try to save these kids.

I bawled like a baby when Alex died. Such a sweet little girl, such a cute personality (as evidenced by her camp award). Her poor dad and the guilt he felt at pushing the chemo treatments. So understandable though that he just didn't want to let her go. Tim was amazing as well. When he described his wish to see the sun set over the Grand Canyon at the end of part one...what kid his age would think of something so beautiful? His mother was such a sweetheart too. I found it incredibly sad that he was alone so much during his final weeks. And when his mother was told that he was dying, and she broke down...truly heartbreaking.

This program was so important, IMHO. Hard to watch, but oh so real.
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#3

Po

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Posted Jun 23, 2006 @ 2:47 PM

I saw bits and pieces of part 1 but I was able to watch all of part 2. The whole time I was either crying or had a lump in my throat. What struck me most was how real it all was. I watch a lot of "reality" shows and a lot of the time, the so called reality seems manufactured. This, on the other hand, was quite raw and painfully real. The part where I really lost it was when Tim was shown in the hospital bed with his family surrounding him. I think I will forever be haunted by the image of his worn out body fighting for every breath when the end is so obviously near. What a heartbreaking moment.
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#4

willagirl

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Posted Jun 23, 2006 @ 3:46 PM

I have to wake up at 4am everyday for work but this doc kept me up late for 2 nights. I agree that it was very "real." Some viewers might wonder how some of the parents can keep up a sense of humor, sometimes even taking "the end" very lightly while their child is dying. I've never had a child in that situation, but I've gone through it w/ a parent and being lighthearted every once in awhile helps you keep from completely falling apart. I also liked how it showed the doctors struggling to care for these families and sometimes admitting they don't know what else to do. The nurses were equally great.

It was a terrifically subtle comment on the state of health care in the U.S.-not the quality so much as the access to it.

Here's a link to an NPR interview with the filmmakers.
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#5

kenziegirl

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Posted Jun 23, 2006 @ 8:21 PM

I too was incredibly moved by this documentary. The Independent Lens series is fantastic. The access these parents gave the filmakers was impressive. Alex's story really ripped me apart. I felt awful for her father and thought that the hospice nurse was a bit harsh on him. I mean he so desperately wanted his daughter to live, he clearly couldn't see the big picture. I thought it was very sad that Justin and Tim didn't get some sort of hospice care earlier. Justin's death was pretty horrible. The kid was a fighter for sure, but his parents were so delusional. but, they had gone through it for so long, they really thought he'd pull through.

It also reminded me of how much kinder we are to our pets than human beings. My mother was in a morphine induced stupor in her last days, didn't recognize us, couldn't comunicate. Going through that was worse than her actual death. She'd always told us that she wanted us to "put her out of her misery" if it got to that point. But, she was in a hospital, so what was I supposed to do, raid the pharmacy? I remember that we had to beg them to up her morphine when she initially had excrutiating pain. They said they couldn't give her too much because it was addictive. I said, she's dying you idiots, give her as much as she needs. But, that was 20 years ago, it seems that the medical profession handles end of life issues better now than back in the "dark ages".

ETA: Jen is an amazing kid! When they showed her going through the spinal tap, I was freaking out, but she handled it like a champ. Just incredible courage that child has.

Edited by kenziegirl, Jun 23, 2006 @ 8:23 PM.

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#6

Imelda

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Posted Jun 26, 2006 @ 11:43 AM

When Timmy died I just lost it. He tried so hard.


For some reason, I cried more when Tim died. I don't know if it was because I had just finished crying about Alex or what, but Tim's story just hit me a little harder. I DVRed both parts and watched them back to back. Don't do that, you'll be a puddle of tears and snot.

Justin's story got me. His parents seemed to be the ones fighting, not Justin. It's hard to make those kinds of decisions (hospice, DNR) about a child. In an adult, it's a bit easier, you can say things like "He's lived a full life" etc. But with a kid, you can't do that. It seemed like it was easier for Alex's parents to let go than it was for Justin's. Justin's mother had just become all consumed with Justin and his treatments that she had no life of her own. Maybe that's why she didn't want to let go.


The website has updates on the families.

Edited by Imelda, Jun 26, 2006 @ 11:44 AM.

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#7

formergr

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Posted Jun 26, 2006 @ 2:09 PM

The part where I really lost it was when Tim was shown in the hospital bed with his family surrounding him. I think I will forever be haunted by the image of his worn out body fighting for every breath when the end is so obviously near. What a heartbreaking moment.

I'm so glad his family was able to come together at the end like that, and it wasn't the "20 people making a commotion and wailing " like his doctor had feared. Everyone was there to support him, it was so peaceful compared to the chaos he had complained about in his apartment, and when the one woman began to sing to him I was just bawling.

I really think until his care team started calling the family members, they really didn't have a grasp of the situation's serious. As was mentioned, his mother was seen as the family caretaker, so she was probably shielding them from the bad news out of habit.

It was great to see how concerned and engaged his care team was, and how hard they worked to try and improve his situation at the end. Having seen it all, it's amazing that they're not more jaded by now.
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#8

Catcher22

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Posted Oct 28, 2006 @ 9:06 PM

I agree with all the posts. 'The Lion in the House' was so engrossing and spectacular. I was flipping through the channels and this happened to be on and I was simply enraptured by the stories and the people through both nights.

Tim's story affected me the most. The way he was, for the most part, so good humored about his cancer but acknowledged the doubts and absolute depression he felt knowing of his limited life was inspiring. I felt for him when he was jovially talking with the hospital staff and making the best of the situation and I felt for him during the times like the Halloween party when he just didn't feel like interacting with anyone and was frustrated and emotionally jumbled simply because it was too hard. I can only imagine how it must have been being 16 and having to make the daily trips to the hospital by cab, not having time for many friends, getting behind on your school work, and being responsible for your health. It's astonishing how he could have been light spirited about it at all.

I really think until his care team started calling the family members, they really didn't have a grasp of the situation's serious. As was mentioned, his mother was seen as the family caretaker, so she was probably shielding them from the bad news out of habit.


That was so sad watching the care team saying it was necessary for them to sit the Tim's mother down and discuss Tim's case because she was essentially going through denial in order to keep a brave face for everyone. To see her visibly moved and pained by the unavoidable fact of the matter was heartwrenching.
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#9

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Posted May 21, 2007 @ 6:34 PM

I really enjoyed Knocking, on Jehovah's Witnesses last night. It was the first portrayal of the faith I have ever seen that made the faith seem like any other mainstream religion, and not a cult.
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#10

Pepper Mostly

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Posted May 23, 2007 @ 9:27 AM

I love this show! "Sentenced Home", about Cambodian nationals who've lived in this country virtually all their lives, then get deported to Cambodia was thought provoking and heartbreaking. "China Blue" about the 16 year old girl who works in a jeans factory in China just made me want to cry. Those places are sweatshops and the girls who work there are practically slaves--6 day weeks, 16 hour days, perpetual debt to the owners for shelter and food.
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#11

sweetjane

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Posted May 29, 2007 @ 5:35 PM

I've never watched this series but I noticed in TV Guide that tonight they are airing The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. The subject matter seems to be somewhat lighter than other documentaries that they have on the program, but I wanted to recommend it because it's a great little film. I saw it a couple of years ago when it had a limited theatrical release. The human subject, Mark Bittner, is a fascinating person and has a unique relationship with the parrots. The filmmaker, Judy Irving, came to be quite involved with her subjects as well. And there are wonderful shots of all the parrots, many of whom are singled out for their distinctive personalities.

Edited by sweetjane, May 29, 2007 @ 5:36 PM.

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#12

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Posted Nov 12, 2007 @ 5:58 PM

I recently watched Vote For Me about 8 year olds running for class monitor in China. There was a slight similarity to South Park kids in the way the 8 year olds dealt with the opposition.
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#13

egbert

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Posted Dec 19, 2007 @ 7:55 PM

The biography on Ralph Nader ("An Unreasonable Man") was very enlightening.

Since his presidential run, he has become somewhat of a pariah and dismissed as an old crank. But lest we forget all the ways he's contributed to our safety and health through instituting seatbelts, airbags, the clean air act, Freedom of Information Act, OSHA -- reminds us what a consumer advocate and peoples' defender he's been.
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#14

Quiddler

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Posted Feb 7, 2008 @ 8:37 PM

Thanks to a bout of insomnia, I watched "Please Vote for Me" last night. 8 year olds running for class monitor. (Which, apparently, is a huuuuuge deal in China.) After only a few minutes I was muttering "God, I hate that fat fuck" every time Cheng Cheng was on screen. And the amount of involvement from the parents: writing their childrens' campaign speeches, coaching them in debate tactics...wild. Worth a watch if y'all catch it.
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#15

iMissEthan

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Posted Feb 10, 2008 @ 5:28 PM

The episode about the stem cell researcher and his paralyzed daughter was excellent. Has anyone else seen it? I had it on my DVR for a few weeks and just watched it. I really wish everyone who is against stem cell research on supposed moral grounds would see it.
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#16

Imbaack

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Posted Feb 23, 2008 @ 4:52 PM

I love independent Lens! Thanks for starting this thread.
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#17

Kiss My Grits

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Posted May 19, 2009 @ 11:12 PM

This thread hasn't been touched in ages but I am still in tears 20 minutes later after watching Stranded:The Andes Plane Crash Survivors about the 1972 plane crash where 16 college students from Uraguay survived in the Andes in the middle of winter for 72 days after the plane crash.

The story is often sensationalized a lot- but I thought the film makers did a very nice job and it was very nice to hear from the survivors today as they remembered what happened. In particular- I liked how the film discussed when the survivors had to eat the bodies of their dead friends in order to survive and how they approached the decision at the time. They showed all the thought that the young men went through at the time and it was not gross savagery as is sometimes portrayed.
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#18

braggtastic

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 12:45 PM

I haven't watched that one yet. I've got ILs on my DVR going back to December, but I always enjoy them when I take the time to watch them.
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#19

Constantinople

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Posted May 26, 2009 @ 4:08 PM

This thread hasn't been touched in ages but I am still in tears 20 minutes later after watching Stranded:The Andes Plane Crash Survivors about the 1972 plane crash where 16 college students from Uraguay survived in the Andes in the middle of winter for 72 days after the plane crash.

The story is often sensationalized a lot- but I thought the film makers did a very nice job and it was very nice to hear from the survivors today as they remembered what happened. In particular- I liked how the film discussed when the survivors had to eat the bodies of their dead friends in order to survive and how they approached the decision at the time. They showed all the thought that the young men went through at the time and it was not gross savagery as is sometimes portrayed.


Caught this over the weekend. Very well done.

It's also amazing that Roberto and Nando were able to hike/climb through the Andes for 10+ days with limited food, no proper equipment, etc (especially after they reached the top of the first mountain, expecting to see the green fields of Chile on the other side, only to see more mountains as far as the eye could see).
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#20

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 9:15 AM

I, watching at home, felt such despair and hopelessness seeing those endless snowy mountains. I can't imagine how Nando and Roberto felt.

I was especially moved by the survivors and their children visiting the memorial at the crash site. I'm impressed that people hike up into the Andes to visit this spot. It seems impossibly remote.
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#21

Malibu65

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 9:28 AM

I never get tired of hearing of the Andes plane crash story. Having read the book by one of the survivors, it still brings tears to my eyes. This is one of those stories that epitomizes endurance, never giving up, having faith and hope when others might see doom. Seriously, when you have what seems like a bad time in life, do you ever reflect back on this story and tell yourself, "It isn't so bad?"
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#22

Malibu65

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Posted Jan 17, 2010 @ 6:08 PM

Has anyone caught the latest documentary YOUNG AT HEART? It is a look at a chorus made up of New England senior citizens who sing songs by such artists including James Brown, The Clash and The Ramones. The documentary follows them as they prepare for a concert including one for inmates.

http://www.youngatheartchorus.com/

Edited by Malibu65, Jan 17, 2010 @ 6:09 PM.

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#23

Artsee

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 8:38 AM

I've watched it all three times it has aired already. Makes me cry every time.
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#24

Malibu65

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Posted Jan 20, 2010 @ 8:01 PM

It made me cry too ARTSEE.

There was a new segment which I caught last night. It was called COPYRIGHT CRIMINAL. It was devoted to the music industry and the whole issue of sampling music. Interesting hour.
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#25

Pepper Mostly

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Posted Jan 25, 2010 @ 2:44 PM

Seeing them sing "Forever Young", and the emotional response of the inmates pretty much did me in. Really glad I got to see this. In these times, its good to see something so uplifting. Now I want to move to Northampton when I retire and try to join up!
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#26

Bastet Esq

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:12 PM

There was a new segment which I caught last night. It was called COPYRIGHT CRIMINAL. It was devoted to the music industry and the whole issue of sampling music. Interesting hour.


I worked for a major record label during my first career (and have a decent base knowledge of copyright law from my law school days, although I have never practiced in that area) and when sampling and downloading became big issues (which was after I had left the music industry) I found my alignment with one side or the other varied from case to case, so I was looking forward to this episode. But I found it a letdown. Many of the interviews bored me (and I'm a documentary nut, so that's saying something) and I found it a more cursory examination of the issues than I expect from Independent Lens.
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#27

Malibu65

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Posted Feb 19, 2010 @ 11:52 AM

I worked for a major record label during my first career

That's so cool. Sounds very interesting.

I found it a more cursory examination of the issues than I expect from Independent Lens.

I have to admit, yes the documentary didn't go into detail as I had expected. I actually expected to hear about those cases where copyright infringement did occur such as with George Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed the story about the gentleman whose drumming style was being sampled but I think they spent too much time on that.
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#28

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 9:53 AM

I looked around quite a bit to try to make sure there wasn't something started on this, and didn't see anything.

I was really happy to see this movie on PBS as I had heard about it during the film festivals a while back. I thought it was a great documentary, and it was so endearing to see how much Kevin really loves what he does and the characters he creates. I happen to love Elmo, so that is a plus, but even if you don't there is a lot of good content in this movie about puppeteering in general, Kevin Clash, and other key players.
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#29

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

I was happy to see them air this, too. I saw it in a theater late last year and loved it so much. I hope this helped more people see this beautiful piece.
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#30

braggtastic

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 12:08 PM

Did it air in a one hour slot or 90 min? The actual doc is 1:25, so if you only saw the hour version & enjoyed it, I would track down the DVD or stream the full version. The whole thing was wonderful. I'm not crazy about PBS chopping up docs to fit into their time slots, and that seems to happen quite often.
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