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The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot on the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. Pontecorvo’s tour de force has astonishing relevance today.
THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement - Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver among them - the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. Thirty years later, this lush collection was found languishing in the basement of Swedish Television.
In a potent, arresting, and surprisingly emotional film, Olsson artfully elucidates Fanon's psychiatric and psychological analysis of dehumanizing effects of colonization on the individual and the nation. Fanon's theory is that the violence of colonialism must be met with greater violence to be defeated, as well as his vision and plea to reject the lust for colonial power and instead embrace a more creative and human society.
Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. Then he encounters police officers in a transit station. They kill him.
For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer, and damaged poor communities. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than 20 states, it captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels, the dealer to grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge. Reveals its profound human rights implications.
Master documentary filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and a flood of rich archival material. A journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter.
A powerful and thought-provoking true story follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley. One of his first and most incendiary cases is that of Walter McMillian.
Mike Gray started out to make a film about the Black Panther Party, but on Dec. 4, 1969, the Chicago police raided a Panther apartment and his film became a documentary about the murder of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. The film footage of the raid directly contradicted the State Attorney's version of the raid and so filmmakers and Panthers came together to prove that Hampton had been the designated target of the violent, punitive raid. The film's inquiry pursues official spokesmen and traps them in their attempts at covering up an orchestrated assassination.
The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.
Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. For this generation, the battle is not for civil rights, but for the right to live.
Ava DuVernay's in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. Available on Netflix. Also on Netflix, see DuVernay's conversation with Oprah about the film.
A documentary examining the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the cover-up that ensued. After the police initially declared the shooting as justified, journalists and activists fought for footage of the event to be released, sending the Chicago Police Department and local Chicago government officials into upheaval as the community demanded justice. Available on Showtime and Hulu.
Kendra Ellis-Connor paces the waiting area of a Miami police station. Her 18-year-old son Jamal, a top student about to enter West Point, went out with friends early in the evening and, uncharacteristically, has neither returned nor contacted her. As she waits for her estranged husband, Kendra is interviewed by Officer Paul Larkin (Jeremy Jordan), who assures her that his questions about whether Jamal has priors, a street name, or gold teeth are strictly protocol and not racist. Larkin suddenly discloses new details regarding Jamal's whereabouts when Scott arrives, not initially realizing that this white FBI agent is Jamal's father. Questions arise concerning the degree to which race, gender, and class play into police procedure. Starring Kerry Washington. Directed by Kenny Leon. Available on Netflix.
Tensions run high between African American citizens and Caucasian cops in Jersey City when a teenage African American boy is critically injured by a cop. Starring Clare-Hope Ashitey. Directed by Veena Sud. Available on Netflix.
Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story of the Central Park Five. Starring Asante Blackk. Directed by Ava DuVernay. Available on Netflix.
In this NPR podcast, two journalists of color tackle the subject of race head-on. They explore how race impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between.
In 1965, James Baldwin debated the conservative William F. Buckley at the Cambridge Union Society, Cambridge University. The topic of the debate was, "Is the American Dream at the expense of the American negro?"
In this inspiring and powerful talk, Megan Francis traces the root causes of our current racial climate to their core causes, debunking common misconceptions and calling out "fix-all" cures to a complex social problem.
S2 Ep 2
Host John Biewen with guest Chenjerai Kumanyika begin this episode with excerpts of a talk by Suzanne Plihcik of the Racial Equity Institute. She says, “We need to know how we got this thing called 'race' if we’re gonna understand racism.” Where did the idea of “race” come from? What is it based on? Biewen reports on the history of how “race” became a construct.