Based on newly declassified files, Sam Pollard's resonant film explores the US government's surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sam Pollard
5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Martin Luther King ... Self (archive footage)
J. Edgar Hoover ... Self - FBI Director (archive footage)
David Garrow ... Self - Author, Bearing the Cross (as David J. Garrow)
Clarence B. Jones ... Self - Attorney, Speechwriter for Martin Luther King, Jr (as Clarence Jones)
Charles Knox ... Self - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Retired / Special Agent, Counterintelligence
Donna Murch ... Self - Rutgers University, Author, Living in the City: Migration, Education and the Rise of the Black Panthers
Marc Perrusquia ... Self - Journalist
Andrew Young ... Self - Southern Christian Leadership Conference, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Mayor of Atlanta
James Comey ... Self - Director of the FBI, 2013 - 2017 (voice)
Beverly Gage ... Self - Yale University, Author, G-Men: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
H. Rap Brown ... Self - Civil Rights Activist (archive footage)
Arthur Goldberg ... Self - Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. (archive footage)
Merv Griffin ... Self - TV Host (archive footage)
Lyndon B. Johnson ... Self - 36th President of the United States (archive footage)
Kenneth Keating ... Self - U.S. Senator from New York (archive footage)


The first film to uncover the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on newly discovered and declassified files, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals. From Emmy Award winning director Sam Pollard and featuring interviews with Andrew Young, James Comey, Clarence Jones, and more.

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Officially released on what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 92nd birthday. See more »


References I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. (1951) See more »

User Reviews

The policy of suspicion
5 February 2021 | by MiguelAReinaSee all my reviews

The FBI begins spying on MLK on suspicion of communist activities and ends up spying on his sex life. It is the disease of the moral watchers. The documentary accurately narrates these espionage activities that move against the defense of human rights. Through well selected archival material, it is a necessary film to show the moral baseness of those who considered themselves protectors of moral integrity. It is the danger of a policy based on constant suspicion.

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Release Date:

15 January 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

MLK/FBI See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,603, 17 January 2021

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Field of Vision (II) See more »
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