Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Taylor Branch, David Halberstam, Martin Luther King, Andrew Young
Directors: Noland Walker, Orlando Bagwell
Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema, Military & War
CITIZEN KING, a two-hour documentary from acclaimed filmmakers Orlando Bagwell and Noland Walker, explores the last five years in the life of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Personal recollections and eyew... more »
The Best of MLK on DVD
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 06/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with the Paul Winfield movie on MLK (which the late Winflield does for Dr. King what Denzel did for Malcolm X), this is clearly the best documentary of MLK that is avaialble on DVD.
Basically, it does not do much on his early years and skims the all-too familiar story of the Momtgomery bus boycott. But it deals with a lot of lesser known matters of his career from 1963 to his assassination in 1968.
The "Children's Crusade" of Birmingham in 1963 is handled from all angles, as well as the events leading up to the March on Washington and the all-too familiar Dream Speech. We learn a lot more about lesser-known matters such as the issues surrounding his receiving the Nobel Prize, the Selma and Chicago campaigns (one important error here is that Dr. King himself never actually marched in the antiblack community of Cicero, Ill. in 1966, Dr. King marched in the equally racist Gage Park, but other independent marchers went to the notorious Cicero). And we also look into his campaigns against the Vietnam War and poverty in America, which usually get short shrift when Dr. King is taught to American schoolchildren, and the issues leading to his assassination.
This documentary is even more blatant than the Winfield movie in pointing out Dr. King's flaws (womanizing, poor health habits, questionable associations, etc) but it is a balanced portrait in showing the good that Dr. King attempted to accomplish during this time without compromising on his Ghandian philosophy.
One particularly intriguing segment shows Dan Rather, who now prides himself on his professed sympathy for the movement, annoying Dr. King with questions about Communist associations (c. 1963). Mike Wallace is also shown disturbing Dr. King (around 1966) about whether he is making white people tired with his demonstrations. Dr. King's anger in both cases is controlled, but apparent.
But overall, the King novice as well as history fans, high school, and college students will do well to watch this in conjunction with the Paul Winfield film. Both will show the historical layman that Dr. King was about far more than dreaming dreams and making pretty speeches."
Citizen King as Preacher King
Gabriel E. Borlean | Odense, Denmark - birthtown of fairytale-writer H. | 12/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
I admire Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but honestly I did not know much about him, except what I learned in high school United States history. Now I know why I admire the life, works, and words of Dr. King, even though as any mortal human he had his faults. This DVD, is a documentary of the most influential years of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) (and sadly the last years of his life) 1963 to 1968. This DVD, will show all the complex and intriguing aspect of King's life and I feel that the viewer will be delighted with this presentation and its discoveries.
In the US, there is a day set aside as a public holiday called "Martin Luther King Day" and commemorates the civil rights struggle of the African Americans in the 1960s and is personified by the monumental persona of *Preacher King.*
From the very beginning of the DVD, the narrator tells us the key to understanding Dr. King. This key, is the fact that, first and foremost, Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister, a baptist preacher.
This is a documentary production that feels like a movie. There is a narrator that does an excellent job at walking the viewer through the well-documented steps of the civil rights movement and the life of Dr. King. The footage made me feel like I was part of the action, ... very personal, up-close cinematography. Another reviewer of this DVD (see "The Best of MLK on DVD") mentions that there is a movie of MLK produced by Paul Winfield.
I found this DVD in a local public library in Santa Cruz. The quality of this documentary is so honest and unbiased, that I am contemplating buying it for my collection.
In 1955, Rosa Parks, another African-American Christian of deep faith, has the courage and moral integrity to fight against the racist Jim Crows laws of the southern states. Her simple action, ... and protest, was to not give up her seat on a public bus to an elder white man. This act of peaceful civil disobedience put the grease on the wheels of the civil rights movement struggle against the racist Jim Crows laws of the southern US states (and subsequent imprisonment of those protesting).
This DVD documentary starts in 1963, the year of the important Bermingham Alabama's "Chrildren's Crusade" and the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" - the place of Dr. King's famous speach "I have a dream." What I liked about "Citizen King: An American Experience - 1963 to 1968)" is the many good (and some bad) things I learned about Dr. King.
I learned - that Dr. King was not only for the equal civil public right of African Americans (back then referred to as negroes), but also spoke out against poverty, militarism (e.g. Vietnam conflict), and materialism.
I learned - that Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize and what he did with the money.
I learned - that Dr. King was an influential figure at the White House in the Johnson administration, that He was a man who knew his emotions well and was very diplomatic in any situation.
I learned - that Dr. King was hated or chastised by some fellow African Americans (in the north - Chicago, or the west - California) and called "Dr. Martin Looser King" for his peaceful and Christian methods.
I learned - that Dr. King had amorous phone conversations with other women than his wife, and that the family King (Martin, Coretta, and kids) survived this life obstacle. I learned that the FBI was pro-actively involved in undermining the civil rights movement.
And the *most fascinating* thing was finding who the most important thinker/writer was in Martin Luther King's life. While I had heard of Gandhi's influence on King's philosophy and practice of nonviolence (see wikipedia article on Dr. King), I did not know that King had read and admired another Christian minister and outspoken fighter against racism (Jews)- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Minister and pastor King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" - "a passionate statement of his crusade for justice" - sounds very much like Bonhoeffer's posthumously published "Letter and Papers from Prison." As outspoken fighters for freedom and spiritual truth, both pastor Bonhoeffer and preacher King had a untimely and early death, at the hands of the evils in our world.
As a white protestant American AND an immigrant from eastern Europe, the life, works, and words of brother Martin Luther King Jr. is of monumental importance. What started as a protest on a bus, as marches of peaceful civil disobedience in a region of the United States, lead to a quarter million people marching on Washington D.C., a nationally televised speech - "I have a dream!", and to national legislation giving African Americans their rightful equal-rights as citizens (the Voting Acts Right, and the Civil Rights Act).
To understand King as he was at the core (first and foremost, a Christian minister, a Baptist preacher) is to be like the FEW white folks who literally joined hands with King in the marches for human equality of the 1960s. I'm sad that not more white Christians in the South (and the rest of the U.S.) visibly joined the fight for what the American Constitution calls "certain unalienable Rights" with which they are "endowed, by their Creator" ... specifically "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.""
Best King Documentary I've seen in a long time
T-Bone | Baker, LA USA | 02/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Over time (and wisdom) I've enjoyed learning about history. In doing so, I've gained a new perspective on appreciation for those who have made a difference in my country and my life. This video reminds me of how things change so quickly (relatively speaking) and how soon we forget. For awhile I was equating the King Holiday with the same feeling as Washington's Birthday, just another day. Not any more. I enjoy a quality documentary such as this to remind me to thank those of the past as well as the present for making my life a whole lot better."
Wonderful, inspiring, sad, tragic..yet still there is HOPE.
Clement Finn | 01/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a marvelous DVD, a great tribute to the greatest civil rights leader. How often we hear that LBJ gave us civil rights. That is not true. It truly would not have happened without Martin Luther King. I thought I knew a lot about Dr. King, but I was wrong. This DVD showed how he struggled just to get the attention of the government, then of course suffered harassment and intimidation beyond reason. Watching this film it becomes clear that civil rights were hard to win in the north as well as the south. King also had to struggle with those who agreed with him, but questioned the value of a non-violent approach. It is all here in marvelous documentary footage, the ugly attacks on civil rights protestors in the north and the south, his inspiring speeches, and unflagging spirit. Lyndon Johnson appears at his typical manipulative best, unable to own Martin King or move him around like a pawn, he ultimately spurned Dr. King. Johnson's reluctance to support full voting rights shows the power and influence of Dr. King who pushes the campaign on his own until victory is won on that issue. Dr. King also saw that Vietnam was destroying much of the good won by the movement and had great courage to oppose the war. No other leader in America had his courage, vision or perseverance. The politicians pale in comparison, whether we are speaking of Lyndon Johnson or John Kennedy. We are left wondering whether we would have civil rights today had King not marched on Washington and demanded the justice America promised. Hanging over the whole drama is the grim figure of J. Edgar Hoover who sought to destroy Dr. King. We hear again how the FBI tried to blackmail Dr. King into committing suicide. It only adds more to Dr. King's legacy that he was strong enough to withstand it all. .With the murder of JFK, Dr. King and his followers realized their own vulnerability. We should all watch this DVD with our children and remember how hard won are the rights American have today, and that we must be always ready to defend anyone against racial, religious, or simply bigotry of any kind.