A documentary that chronicles the life of young college professor Angela Davis, and how her social activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI's 10 most wanted list.
A look back at the summer of 1964, when more than 700 student activists took segregated Mississippi by storm, registering voters, creating freedom schools and establishing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Karin Kunstler Goldman,
Peggy Jean Connor
Fred Hampton was the leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. This film depicts his brutal murder by the Chicago police and its subsequent investigation, but also ... See full summary »
Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles, filmmakers examine that tumultuous period through rarely seen archival footage.
John D. Barnett
Am I Black Enough For You?
Performed by Billy Paul See more »
Great subject but the film maybe could have been stronger
This is the story of the revolutionary group, The Black Panthers. Formed in the late 60's, they were an anti-capitalist, left wing militant group formed by disenfranchised black citizens originally in Oakland, California. Their formation was a result of the continued harassment and police brutality their people suffered in American cities at that time. It was a separate incarnation from the Civil Rights movement which had been specifically about redressing the actual lack of equal rights for black people in the American southern states. The Black Panthers were formed to stand up for blacks in the more 'equal' urban areas who were still put upon by the white authorities and who still suffered much racism. They famously had an image of openly bearing arms and their overall approach was of a more confrontational style than that preached by Martin Luther King. Just as important, their look became very chic, dressed all in black, wearing berets, leather jackets and shades, they also sported afro haircuts in an unashamed way for the first time in contemporary America. The idea was to visually show that black was beautiful in its natural form. The look certainly resonated with images of the group making the front covers of various magazines; it remains iconic to this day.
The film is made up by a combination of extensive archive footage from the time and current interviews with past members of the group. It tries to understand some of the motivations and ambitions of the group, while looking at some of their opponents such as the head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover who seemed quite obsessed with eradicating the group. In one telling clip he even states that he doesn't consider the concept of justice as being all that important and that law and order was what he was all about. So it's perhaps not so surprising that this philosophy led to an infamous incident where a prominent member of the Black Panthers was murdered by the Chicago police, an event that is thought to be related to the FBI chief in some way. For some reason though, despite the very interesting subject matter and the dramatic backdrop that the late 60's / early 70's America provides, I felt something lacked from this telling of the story. It never seemed to be as dynamic as it should be and while I learned a few things, it never felt as engaging as it should be and so I left a bit disappointed on the whole. This is certainly an interesting subject though and it does cover quite a lot of ground but I felt it could have been more dynamically told.
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