8.2/10
203
14 user 2 critic

Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (2003)

When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than four million slaves were set free. Over 70 years later, the memories of some 2,000 slave-era survivors were transcribed and preserved by the ... See full summary »

Directors:

Ed Bell, Thomas Lennon
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Whoopi Goldberg ... Narrator
Angela Bassett ... Reader
Michael Boatman ... Reader
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Reader
Don Cheadle ... Reader
Sandra Daley ... Reader
Ossie Davis ... Reader
Ruby Dee ... Reader
Robert Guillaume ... Reader
Jasmine Guy ... Reader
Samuel L. Jackson ... Reader
CCH Pounder ... Reader
LaTanya Richardson Jackson ... Reader (as LaTanya Richardson)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Reader
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Reader
Edit

Storyline

When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than four million slaves were set free. Over 70 years later, the memories of some 2,000 slave-era survivors were transcribed and preserved by the Library of Congress. These first-person anecdotes, ranging from the brutal to the bittersweet, have been brought to vivid life, featuring the on-camera voices of over a dozen top African-American actors. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In their words, our shared history.

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 2003 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Home Box Office (HBO) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Often powerful and moving documentary
8 March 2012 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Various wonderful actors, from Samuel Jackson to Ruby Dee read the actual transcripts of former slaves' memories of their experiences, as recorded by the Library of Congress in the 1930s.

Certainly hearing people's own experiences in their own words bring the surreal horrors of slavery to life in a way that no dramatization can.

My only complaint, as with several other HBO documentaries, is that at 75 minutes this actually feels a little too short, a little raced through. I would have preferred to hear more of these people's journeys. As it is, sometime the emotion is just building when we switch to another reader and another story.

Also, inter-cutting somewhat forced feeling 'backstage banter' as the actors prepare for, or finish their readings feels a bit distracting from the more powerful simple, straightforward readings. But these are minor flaws in an affecting, effective documentary and educational tool.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed