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Strange Fruit (2002)

In 1937, after seeing a photo depicting the lynching of a black man in the south, Bronx-born high school teacher Abel Meeropol wrote a poem entitled "Strange Fruit" that begins with the ... See full summary »


Joel Katz


Joel Katz
5 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Thigpen Dorothy Thigpen ... Narrator (voice)
Milton Gabler ... Himself, Commodore Records (as Milt Gabler)
Farah Jasmine Griffin Farah Jasmine Griffin ... Herself, writer and educator
C.T. Vivian C.T. Vivian ... Himself, reverend and veteran civil rights activist
E.M. 'Woody' Beck E.M. 'Woody' Beck ... Himself, sociologist
Abbey Lincoln ... Herself, singer and composer
Michael Denning Michael Denning ... Himself, historian
Amina Baraka Amina Baraka ... Herself, poet and performer
Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka ... Himself, poet and playwright
Bernie Kassoy Bernie Kassoy ... Himself, retired teacher and visual artist
Henry Foner Henry Foner ... Himself, retired teacher and union activist
Honey Kassoy Honey Kassoy ... Herself, retired teacher and visual artist
Michael Meeropol Michael Meeropol ... Himself, adopted son of Abel Meeropol
Robert Meeropol Robert Meeropol ... Himself, adopted son of Abel Meeropol (as Robby Meeropol)
Jeffrey Melnick Jeffrey Melnick ... Himself, historian (as Jeff Melnick)


In 1937, after seeing a photo depicting the lynching of a black man in the south, Bronx-born high school teacher Abel Meeropol wrote a poem entitled "Strange Fruit" that begins with the words: "Southern trees bear a strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root." He set the poem to music and a few years later convinced Billie Holiday to record it in a legendary heartbreaking performance. Intertwining jazz genealogy, biography, performance footage, and the history of lynching, director Joel Katz fashions a fascinating discovery of the lost story behind a true American classic. Written by Excerpted from Coolidge Corner Theatre Program Update

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis









Release Date:

May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Outo hedelmä See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Documentary Award Winner: 2003 See more »


Features The House I Live In (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

A very memorable documentary
20 July 2003 | by chris_taguchiSee all my reviews

A few months ago, I saw "Strange Fruit" for the first time. It was so haunting, both the song and the film, that I couldn't get it out of my mind! I've recorded the documentary and am looking for a CD that contains the song. I definitely recommend seeing this film.

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