Adam Clayton Powell (1989)
The Academy Award-nominated ADAM CLAYTON POWELL delves into the gripping life and career of the most influential and flamboyant civil rights leader in America in the '30s, '40s and '50s. From his emergence as the princely pastor of Harlem's enormous Abyssinian Baptist Church, to his improbable, riotous political climb and eventual ruin, this must-watch film captures a man who was truly larger than life. Narrated by civil rights activist Julian Bond and resplendent with rich archival footage and candid interviews with those who knew him best, this tell-all documentary mines the good, bad, and ugly acts of Powell's illustrious but controversial career - the multiple marriages, the uproarious taunting of the white establishment, his desegregation of Congress, and his shameful smearing of Martin Luther King, Jr. from self-imposed exile on the island of Bimini. An unforgettable story of being unforgivably black in white America, ADAM CLAYTON POWELL makes for "endlessly fascinating, thoroughly enjoyable" viewing (Chicago Sun-Times). Masterfully directed by Richard Kilberg, this film explores the nature of power, personality, and politics as exemplified in a flawed, but sublime hero.