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Arts & Culture

INDEPENDENT LENS: The Kill Team/Confusion Through Sand

Adam Winfield is seen in a courtroom at Ft. Lewis, Washington shortly before his court martial.
Courtesy of Dan Krauss
Adam Winfield is seen in a courtroom at Ft. Lewis, Washington shortly before his court martial.

Airs Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

This acclaimed Emmy Award-winning anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. INDEPENDENT LENS features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. The series is supported by interactive companion Web sites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns.

Adam Winfield is seen with his parents during a meeting with the family's defense attorney at Ft. Lewis.
Courtesy of Dan Krauss
Adam Winfield is seen with his parents during a meeting with the family's defense attorney at Ft. Lewis.
Corporal Jeremy Morlock is seen at Ft. Lewis, Washington.
Courtesy of Dan Krauss
Corporal Jeremy Morlock is seen at Ft. Lewis, Washington.
Adam Winfield at Ft. Lewis, Washington after being sentenced.
Courtesy of Dan Krauss
Adam Winfield at Ft. Lewis, Washington after being sentenced.

"The Kill Team" goes behind closed doors to tell the harrowing story of Specialist Adam Winfield, a 21-year-old infantryman in Afghanistan who — with the help of his father — attempted to alert the military to heinous war crimes being committed by his platoon. Tragically, his father's pleas for help went unheeded. Once Adam’s fellow soldiers got wind of what he'd done, they threatened to silence him — permanently.

Forced to choose between his conscience and his own survival, Adam found himself drawn into a moral abyss, faced with a split-second decision that would change his life forever. With extraordinary access to the key individuals involved in the case including Adam, his parents, and his startlingly forthright compatriots, "The Kill Team" is an intimate look at the personal stories so often lost inside the larger coverage of the longest war in U.S. history.

Winner of the Best Documentary Feature award at the Tribeca Film Festival and directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Dan Krauss, "The Kill Team" premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS on Monday, January 19, 2015 on PBS.

The film weaves together two parallel storylines, past and present, chronicling Winfield’s unfolding legal story along with recounting of the horrors that took place in Afghanistan. Speaking with an astonishing degree of candor and articulateness, Adam and his fellow soldiers describe a series of increasingly weighty psychological quagmires, each emblemizing the hazy morality of war, where the choices are often clear, but the best decisions seldom are.

“Confusion Through Sand”Director Danny Madden’s animated short film tells the story of a teenage military recruit alone and scared in a hostile desert.

Past episodes of INDEPENDENT LENS are available for online viewing. INDEPENDENT LENS is on Facebook, and you can follow @IndependentLens on Twitter. "The Kill Team" film is on Facebook, and you can follow @KillTeamMovie on Twitter.

Coming to Independent Lens: The Kill Team

American soldier Adam Winfield attempted to thwart war crimes even more heinous than Abu Ghraib but was then himself charged with premeditated murder. At the core of The Kill Team is a moral quandary: whether a soldier is duty-bound to risk life and limb to stop fellow soldiers from committing atrocities.

Confusion Through Sand Teaser