YOU KNOW HER NAME. KNOW HER STORY.
This documentary, which can be seen as an equally compelling companion piece to The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 (2011), focuses on Angela Davis, the university professor who was fired from the UCLA in 1969 for being a Communist and who became engaged in the Black Panther cause, eventually ending up on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. She became a fugitive, but the government’s case was flawed from the start. In the film, Davis (now an influential scholar and author) guides us through her journey and the tumultuous times when she was labeled a “terrorist” by President Nixon, leading up to the moment when an all-white jury delivered a not-guilty verdict. Other key voices from the era contribute as well, and the film is richly illustrated with archive footage showing Angela’s cultural impact.
2013-U.S.-France. 102 min. Color/B-W. Produced by Carole Lambert, Shola Lynch, Carine Ruszniewski, Sidra Smith. Written and directed by Shola Lynch.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z.
Last word: “The hardest part for this project actually was raising the money, but then there were other things. Because it took so long to raise the money, there were other things we ended up having access to. Because it took over two years to get access to the FBI files. The process is just really slow. Then once we got the files, it took time to be able to comb through them. So what happens when you have a longer arc of time to work is that more stuff surfaces, more information surfaces. In a way I feel like an archaeologist. Because, you run out of money, but at a certain point, the film has to be done. With the film then, out in the world, I hope more information surfaces, more lost artifacts that are part of the story, and people will come forward. We pressed as hard as we could in the time that we had.” (Lynch, Indiewire)