January 13, 2011 7:00 pm
Free and open to the public
Parking available at the Bryan Center Garage
Free Drinks and Popcorn
Citizen King (2004, 115 minutes), 2004 Full Frame/Emerging Pictures Audience Award: On a steamy afternoon in August 1963, a thirty-four-year-old minister gave a speech that enthralled a crowd of more than two hundred thousand people gathered at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial, and millions more across the country who watched on television. What came to be known as the “I Have A Dream” speech was a high point in the public career of Martin Luther King, Jr. But it was also a turning point in his personal life, as he embarked on a controversial, often lonely struggle to redefine and redirect the movement he had helped lead. The quest would not end until his untimely death five years later.
American Experience presents Citizen King, a two-hour documentary from acclaimed filmmakers Orlando Bagwell (Africans in America, Malcolm X: Make It Plain) and Noland Walker (This Far by Faith, Africans in America). Citizen King explores the last five years in King’s life by drawing on the personal recollections and eyewitness accounts of friends, movement associates, journalists, law enforcement officers, and historians, to illuminate this little-known chapter in the story of America’s most important and influential moral leader.
Citizen King shows how, in his crusade for economic justice and an end to war, King found himself at odds not only with white American leadership, but also with many influential black leaders. He and his family were harassed daily with threats against his life and theirs. He questioned the values of his country and its preoccupation with material gain, and was distraught by the silence of a great many of his fellow Christian clergy. Yet through it all, he remained steadfast in his profound spiritual commitment to the human rights of all people and to the way of non-violence and creative peacemaking.
“This is not a film about the last days of a great leader,” says Bagwell. “Rather, it is the story of a man losing fear, gaining courage and becoming great.”
The film will be followed by a panel discussion.
2010-2011 Rights! Camera! Action! Human Rights Film Screening Series
This film series features documentaries about human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Exploring issues as diverse as the justice system, immigration, refugees and rights and the environment, these exceptional works of art move us even as they pose tough questions about whose rights are protected and why. The films are archived at the Duke Library and are part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials. The film series is sponsored by the Library’s Archives for Human Rights, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI).