Our Paul: Remembering Paul Robeson was another compelling short doc about his career and outspokenness
Just watched on DVD from a set of Paul Robeson movies this short documentary of his career with comments by James Earl Jones-who once portrayed him in a one-man show I'll review in a few days, Ruby Dee-who knew Robeson as she grew up through his brother Ben, a reverend in her neighborhood, and filmmaker William Greaves. James Earl Jones mentions of meeting him through his father. Greaves mentions how Paul's influence made him go from acting to directing various documentaries. Ruby Dee admits here she doesn't like Paul's performance in the film version of The Emperor Jones though she was more tolerant of her late hubby Ossie Dee's version of the same role when he did it on television. Nice overview of Robeson's career and how he suffered for it. Since I'm still writing this, let me mention other extras on the four discs of the Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist set. This particular film was on the Icon disc with the films The Emperor Jones-which has commentary by Jeffery C. Stewart as an alternate track-and Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist. Also on it are Robeson on Robeson which has an interview with Paul Robeson Jr. On the Outsider disc: Body and Soul with commentary by Pearl Bowzer and a score recorded for this edition by Wycliffe Gordon and Borderline with a score recorded for this edition by Courtney Pine. On the Pioneer disc: The films Sanders of the River and Jericho. Also, a short film called True Pioneer: The British Films of Paul Robeson with interviews of Paul Robeson Jr., Ian Christie, and Stephen Bourne. On the Citizen of the World disc: The films The Proud Valley and Native Land of which this section also has the short film The Story of Native Land with an interview of Tom Hurwitz, son of Leo Hurwitz, co-director of NL and co-founder of the film's company, Frontier Films. There's also an interview of Robeson on Pacifica Radio from 1958 which was conducted by Elsa Knight Thompson and Harold Winkler.
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