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1 item from 2015

Film Review: ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution’

18 August 2015 4:22 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Arriving around the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, and a resurgence of the protest against police brutality that significantly fueled it, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” offers a sturdy recap of the titular organization’s short, tumultuous history. Docu vet Stanley Nelson (“Freedom Summer,” “Jonestown,” “Wounded Knee”) doesn’t bring the era back to life quite as bracingly as something like the recent Swedish “Black Power Mixtape,” which had the advantages of using previously unseen footage and aiming for a more impressionistic, less historically definitive account. But “Vanguard’s” very straightforwardness also makes it perhaps preferable as an introduction to the subject, particularly in educational settings. PBS plans a limited theatrical release this fall, before an early-2016 broadcast premiere.

While in the early 1960s the focus on American racial relations was largely concentrated on the South, where Martin Luther King Jr.’s pacifist protests made stubborn headway, »

- Dennis Harvey

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