Through The Lens

RadioWest and Utah Film Center have partnered to present the best in documentary filmmaking. We talk with established and new directors who are changing the way audiences see the world and then screen their films.

SLC Punk/Sony Pictures Classics

Twenty years ago, the film SLC Punk! premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s about two young punks living on the fringes and rebelling against Utah culture, while also dealing with the realities of growing up.

In her new documentary film, director Irene Brodsky follows her son Jonas as he sets out to learn Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Like the legendary composer, Jonas is deaf, and struggling to live between the worlds of sound and silence.

In 2016, Cambridge Analytica took millions of Facebook users’ data and used it to sew dissension in the presidential campaign and aid Donald Trump. Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer’s film The Great Hack examines the Cambridge Analytica–Facebook scandal.

Image of film cover.
CREDIT: CANDY KUGEL

Few people were watching in August 1981 when MTV debuted on cable television. Filmmakers Patrick Waldrop and Tyler Measom have made a film about the birth and evolution of the television network that revolutionized the culture.

We’re marking the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad by showing Cecil B. DeMille’s epic Western Union Pacific. Film historian James D’Arc joins us to talk about the film and how the railroads united a divided country.

Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera's film The Infiltrators tells the true story of young immigrants who were arrested by Border Patrol and put in a detention center—on purpose. It’s about what happens to detained migrants, and what it takes to free them.

Friday, we continue our series on documentary film with the story of Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female filmmaker.  She wrote, produced, or directed a thousand films, and yet today, even in Hollywood, she remains unknown.

RaMell Ross / Idiom Film

In his film Hale County This Morning, This Evening, director RaMell Ross abandons the traditional documentary form, opting for a kind of lyrical and and vivid portrait of life in the modern South.

Tuesday, we continue our Through the Lens series with director Robert Greene's compelling and original documentary Bisbee 17. It's about the former mining town of Bisbee, Arizona, and the century-old event that haunts it to this day.

We continue our Through the Lens series with actor/director Jim Cummings' feature debut. A small-town police officer gives his mother's eulogy and ends up singing and dancing to a Springsteen classic.

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