9 new programs coming in May from Independent Lens, American Experience and NOVA!

April 25, 2022 Alyssa Beno Leave a Comment

PBS Wisconsin welcomes May with a schedule full of new Independent Lens documentaries, NOVA‘s scientific research on everything from shipwrecks to dinosaurs, and American Experience‘s explorations of important moments in our country’s history.

Independent Lens

Try Harder!

9 p.m. Monday, May 2

At San Francisco’s Lowell High School, the kids are stressed out. With a majority Asian American student body, high-achieving seniors share their dreams and anxieties about getting into a top university. But is college worth the grind?

When Claude Got Shot

9 p.m. Monday, May 9

In Milwaukee, a 15-year-old attempted to carjack law student Claude Motley and shot him in the face. Through multiple surgeries and catastrophic health care bills, the effects of gun violence upends Claude’s life. Yet he still finds himself torn between punishment for the young man and the injustice of mass incarceration for Black men and boys. Can he find mercy in his heart for his attacker? Read a Q&A between Claude Motley and director Brad Lichtenstein.

Scenes from the Glittering World

9 p.m. Monday, May 16

Three Indigenous students experience the highs and lows of adolescence while attending one of the most remote high schools in the United States. Living in the uniquely beautiful but isolated Diné community within the Navajo Nation reservation, they navigate life as teenagers and dream of a glittering future.

One Child Nation

9 p.m. Monday, May 23

After the birth of her first child, filmmaker Nanfu Wang returns to China to speak with her family and explore the ripple effect of that country’s devastating social experiment, the one-child policy. At its core, One Child Nation is a riveting personal story revealing shocking human rights violations and forces us all to reckon with the consequences of blind obedience.

American Experience

Flood in the Desert

8 p.m. Tuesday, May 3

Explore the 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam and its aftermath, the second deadliest disaster in California history.

Plague at the Golden Gate

8 p.m. Tuesday, May 24

Discover how the bubonic plague in 1900 set off fear and anti-Asian sentiment in San Francisco.


Dinosaur Apocalypse

Two-part series beginning 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 11

Sir David Attenborough explores how a North Dakota fossil dig site could reveal a detailed picture of the day an asteroid struck Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs.

Why Ships Crash

8 p.m. Wednesday, May 18

When the colossal Ever Given container ship crashed into the bank of the Suez Canal in March 2021, international supply chains ground to a halt. How could such a disaster happen? And can the investigation help prevent future accidents?

Ice Age Footprints

8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25

Thousands of prehistoric footprints in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park capture moments when Ice Age humans crossed paths with enormous ground sloths and mammoths. What can this new evidence reveal about the people of the Americas?

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