Two ‘Indie Lens Pop-Up’ Screenings Offered in February for Black History Month

News Release Date: 
January 28, 2020

For Immediate Release

Two ‘Indie Lens Pop-Up’ Screenings Offered in February for Black History Month

LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 28, 2020) – Two free community film screenings that tell fascinating stories of citizens banding together in the 1960s and 70s to save their communities, will be shown at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during Black History Month. "Decade of Fire"

“Decade of Fire” will be screened Tuesday, Feb. 11 and “The First Rainbow Coalition” will be screened Tuesday, Feb. 18. Both screenings will start at 6 p.m. at UNL’s Beadle Center, 1901 Vine St. A community discussion will follow each screening.

The films and conversation are part of the free “Indie Lens Pop-Up” series presented by ITVS, “Independent Lens” and NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, in partnership with the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color and the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services at UNL. 

Although set in the past, both films offer inspiring lessons for today.

“Decade of Fire” tells the story of fires that raged through the South Bronx in the 1970s. "The First Rainbow Coalition"

Abandoned by landlords and city officials, nearly a half-million residents were displaced from their beloved neighborhood. With the help of fellow survivors, filmmakers tell the story of the residents who banded together amidst the rubble and built a better future for their community.

The discussion following the screening will be facilitated by Bronx native Jake Kirkland. 

The film was directed by Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Gretchen Hildebran and Julia Steele Allen. 

“The First Rainbow Coalition” begins in 1969 when the Chicago Black Panther Party began to form a multi-ethnic coalition with the Young Lords Organization and the Young Patriots.

Banding together in one of the most segregated cities in post-war America, the Rainbow Coalition changed the face of 1960s Chicago politics and created an organizing model for future activists and politicians.

The discussion following the screening will be facilitated by Patrick Jones. Jones researches, writes and teaches about the civil rights and Black Power era and America in the 1960s.

The film was directed by Ray Santisteban.

“Indie Lens Pop-Up” is the neighborhood screening series that brings people together for community-driven conversations around documentaries from the award-winning PBS series, “Independent Lens” on NET.

This season’s films center around the question: What’s your vision for your neighborhood? As communities experience increased polarization and division, “Indie Lens Pop-Up” events provide a gathering place to watch and discuss “Independent Lens” documentaries at hundreds of events hosted by partners across the nation. Over the past decade, nearly 6,500 “Indie Lens Pop-Up” events have brought together an estimated 370,000 participants to discuss issues that impact local communities.

Films in the 2020 lineup include documentaries that present diverse communities that have come together around complex and challenging issues. Lincoln is among 65 cities in the U.S. showing these films. Two additional films will be shown this spring, which include:

“Bedlam”-- Filmmaker and practicing psychiatrist Ken Rosenberg visits emergency rooms, jails and homeless camps to examine our national mental health crisis. Rosenberg follows the poignant stories of people grappling with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other chronic psychiatric conditions, whose silence and shame often worsen the suffering.

“Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project” -- Marion Stokes recorded television 24 hours a day for 30 years. It started in 1979 with the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle and ended when Marion passed away in 2012. In total, Marion recorded on 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, lies, wars, triumphs and catastrophes that tell us who we were and how television has shaped the world of today. The film was directed by Matt Wolf.

For more information, visit

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CONTACT: Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578,

NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is the statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit