Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shola Lynch: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

Shola Lynch's Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012) is a nifty companion documentary to her Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004). Between Shirley Chisholm and Angela Davis, there's a lot of ground to cover. So much so, given the context of the times both then and now, they'd make for an absorbing, expanded mini-series. In each case, Lynch provides an exciting introduction. 
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners focuses on Angela Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when she twice became a cause célèbre, first in California and then worldwide. Strong reaction to her intellectual engagement came from such high profile characters as Governor Ronald Reagan, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and US President Richard M. Nixon. As we know now, Hoover died in 1972 before the end of Davis' trial, Nixon went down as a result of Watergate, and Reagan went on to become president of the USA in the following decade.
Lynch's documentary starts off at an even pace, then picks up steam when Angela Davis becomes a fugitive, then slows into the details of her final trial, leaving me wanting more, more, more. A sequel about Davis' work from the mid-1970s until now (she just turned 70) would be equally fascinating, I suspect, as would even more about her family -- including her parents, from Birmingham, Alabama -- and siblings Fania, Ben and Reggie. (In the small world department, Ben Davis, now 68, played for the Detroit Lions in the 1970s.)

Today's Rune: Opening.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I only know the generalities about this