7.8/10
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Let the Fire Burn (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 2 October 2013 (USA)
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A history of the conflict of the City of Philadelphia and the Black Liberation organization, MOVE, that led to the disastrously violent final confrontation in 1985.

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6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Birdie Africa ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Michael Moses Ward)
Ramona Africa ...
Herself (archive footage)
Wilson Goode ...
Himself (archive footage)
William Brown III ...
Himself (archive footage)
Delbert Africa ...
Himself (archive footage)
William B. Lytton ...
Himself (archive footage)
LaVerne Sims ...
Herself (archive footage)
Louise James ...
Herself (archive footage)
Frank Rizzo ...
Himself (archive footage)
John Africa ...
Himself (archive footage)
David Shrager ...
Himself (archive footage)
Sue Africa ...
Herself (archive footage)
Tomaso Africa ...
Himself (archive footage)
John Cresse ...
Himself (archive footage)
Lucien Blackwell ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped two pounds of military explosives onto a city row house occupied by the radical group MOVE. The resulting fire was not fought for over an hour although firefighters were on the scene with water cannons in place. Five children and six adults were killed and sixty-one homes were destroyed by the six-alarm blaze, one of the largest in the city's history. This dramatic tragedy unfolds through an extraordinary visual record previously withheld from the public. It is a graphic illustration of how prejudice, intolerance and fear can lead to unthinkable acts of violence. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deixe Queimar  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,226, 4 October 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$59,033, 13 December 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Gnossienne No. 5
Written by Erik Satie, 1889
Performed by Emily White
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User Reviews

 
Jaw-Dropping, Near-Perfect Editing
3 April 2018 | by See all my reviews

This documentary is insanely, incredibly affecting - and I'm someone who is often critical of overly biased documentary features. This one is a triumph of editing; I hope more documentaries attempt what the filmmakers pulled off here, in terms of not having a narrator or talking heads and focusing exclusively on archival footage - including, most notably, footage from an investigative commission that was held in the wake of the 1985 standoff.

This is one of those stories that not enough people know about; it seems to have weirdly dissolved into history, despite the fact that three city blocks were completely firebombed in Philly, by its own police force. The fact that the documentary does not talk down to the viewer, or cake itself in sanctimony, is practically revelatory. This film is cold and hard. It tells the truth. It offers no easy answers about how to move forward. It'll probably ruin the rest of your day. But it really must be seen.


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