Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sundance Films: Freedom Riders

Title: Freedom Riders
Director: Stanley Nelson

Summary: In 1961 segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad. That is, until an integrated band of college students—many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university—decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation. Veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s inspirational documentary is the first feature-length film about this courageous band of civil-rights activists. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, Nelson chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds. (Sundance).

Thoughts: I think I could say the same about this film as I did about A Film Unfinished. Don't get me wrong, the Civil Rights Movement is an era every single American citizen should know about, and not just the basic facts either but the personal stories, the strengths and weakness of its leaders,etc. But at the same time it seems to be the go to subject when you want to make a documentary but don't have an idea what to cover. With that said, I don't know much about the Freedom Riders so perhaps there's an extra layer of knowledge one can glean from this film. It helps to see such a well produced trailer for this film. So stay tuned on this one.

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