INDEPENDENT LENS: THE SCHOOL HOUSE: THE CHILDREN OF CARLISLE 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Filmmakers Geoffrey O’Gara and Sophie Barksdale highlight the stories of Arapaho children who, in the 1800s, were taken from their homes and taken to a federal residential school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. There they were stripped of their culture. The filmmakers follow a group of members of the Northern Arapaho tribe who came to the school grounds in 2017 to seek answers for their people, who have spent generations fighting to bring back the remains of their children. lost at home. In July, the children who died at the Carlisle Indian Boarding School were buried in their ancestral land.. While many tribes, including the Ute and Navajo, are still uncovering their own truths about similar violent stories, this documentary follows this Arapaho journey in 2017, sharing true tales of loss, love, and healing.
LEAD BELLY (1976) 9.45 p.m. on TCM. In this biopic, Gordon Parks, director of “Shaft” (1971), explores a true story of black history and exploitation, a story that occurred many years before fictional private investigator John Shaft roamed the streets of Harlem. “Leadbelly” follows the life of the titular folk singer (played by Roger E. Mosley), who was known for his mastery of the 12-string guitar – and for singing a song for a governor of Texas which led to his forgiveness of prison, or so goes the story. “He was always polishing his music, which tidied up a chaotic life in all other respects,” Vincent Canby wrote in his 1976 Times review of the film. (Parks’ own life was recently reviewed in “A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks” by director John Maggio, a film that in its own way also captures a black artist’s journey through America.)
SPACE JAM (1996) 5 p.m. on VH1. Michael Jordan stars alongside Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the rest of the Looney Tunes entourage in this comedic fusion of live-action and mid-90s animation. Classic cartoon shenanigans then ensue. that Jordan is (literally) sucked into the world of Looney Tunes through a sand trap and called in by the Tune Squad to help save the day (by playing a basketball game, naturally). The battle royale pits the Nerdlucks, an alien team led by the Tunes’ nemesis Swackhammer (voiced by Danny DeVito), against Jordan and the Tune Squad. The good guys are backed up by Bill Murray, who looks a bit out of place but very ready to rumble in a Tune Squad jersey. Can the Tune Squad defend their home? Is that all, gentlemen? (The gang reappeared in “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring LeBron James, this year.)
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) 7:30 p.m. on Syfy. This blast from the past – into the future – takes us on a ride with high school student Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in his DeLorean turned time machine, built by spiritual and unconventional scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) . After a shocking encounter in the parking lot of an abandoned mall, McFly puts the pedal to the metal that flies in time. He lands in a 1955 brimming with wiseguys and high school scoundrels.