Search - Deacons for Defense on DVD

Deacons for Defense
Deacons for Defense
Actors: Forest Whitaker, Jonathan Silverman, Ossie Davis, Gene Mack, Tyrone Benskin
Director: Bill Duke
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
R     2003     1hr 18min

Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 01/31/2006


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Movie Details

Actors: Forest Whitaker, Jonathan Silverman, Ossie Davis, Gene Mack, Tyrone Benskin
Director: Bill Duke
Creators: Ron Stannett, Mark Anthony Little, Nick Grillo, Robert Rehme, Frank Military, Michael D'Antonio, Richard Wesley
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
Studio: Showtime Ent.
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 18min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Excellent Movie!
traderje | Through the Window | 06/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excellent movie! I first heard about the Deacons of Defense decades ago from the book "Negroes with Guns." The story was later promulgated by the Jews for the Preservation of Gun Ownership (whatever happened to those guys?) I can't believe there are those who are calling the movie full of unbelievable caricatures-- this is how things were! The Klan was not always the pathetic buffoons you see on Jerry Springer. A million Klansmen once marched in the 20 Century on DC as if it were just an Easter Parade. Politicians once proudly announced their Klan affiliation. Their numbers were large, their deeds hideous, their tendrils all throughout the government and so-called protectors. This is NOT ancient history; I remember white's only signs myself. They didn't all just disappear overnight.These brave men armed themselves for their own protection as well as their children and the white men who worked with them to bring about the civil rights they deserved. Yes, that's right black men and children were flailed, hung, and beaten as well as denied civil rights. White men and women who helped them often faced similar consequences. Forrest Whittaker brings another good performance as his character breaks through the learned helplessness that comes from oppression. The deeper story is the same as in such stories as the Warsaw Uprising and Escape from Sobibor. When a group is dehumanized on racial, class, or economic grounds, the "good" people in the majority will grind them as much as possible. That is, until the underclass finds the wherewithal for real strength by some means. Armed self-defense is one way.They could have gone overboard; the movie showed that they had access to military weapons but they held themselves to a defense standard. This is the true American dream: that everyman should have the right and ability to defend themselves. If the idea that these black men were armed to defend themselves and their family offends you-then I say you better check your own heart. If my brother feels safe, then I am all the more safe. In the words of Barry Goldwater, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."A true American story is dramatized in this movie."
Principle Trumps Ideology: Read more about it
Preston Covey | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 06/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The "Deacons for Defense" video alerts us to one chapter in the inexcusably ignored history of the armed civil rights movement. On the principled rationale and history of the *armed* civil rights movement (forever in the politically correct shadow of the history of non-violent resistance and protest), both enthusiasts and critics of "Deacons for Defense" should read the following:Karl R. Popper, "Utopia and Violence" (in Popper's classic Conjectures and Refutations, Harper & Row, 1965): "[W]e must not allow the distinction between attack and defense to become blurred. We must insist upon this distinction, and support and develop social institutions ... whose function it is to discriminate between aggression and resistance to aggression [aka self-defense, the most historic, universal and fundamental of moral and legal rights]."Robert F. Williams, Negroes With Guns (text-critical edition published by Wayne State University Press, 1998). See esp.: Chpt 1 "Self-Defense Prevents Bloodshed," Chpt 5 "Self-Defense Prevents a Progrom," Chpt 7 "Self-Defense: An American Tradition."Robert J. Cottrol and Raymond T. Diamond, "The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration" (Georgetown Law Journal, December 1991, and in Cottrol [editor] Gun Control & the Constitution, 1994).Nicholas J. Johnson, "Beyond the Second Amendment: An Individal Right to Arms Viewed Through the Ninth Amendment" (Rutgers Law Journal, Fall 1992).Preston K. Covey, "Self-Defense - Legal Issues" and "Self-Defense - Reasons for Gun Use" (Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, Gregg Lee Carter [editor].)"
It's amazing this politically incorrect movie was made.
Lawrence E. Arnold Jr. | Kerrville, Texas United States | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Disclaimer: I have been a firearms instructor for twenty years, including NRA basic courses, Texas Department of Public Safety concealed handgun course, and Texas Parks and Wildlife hunter education. I have a bias on the subject matter.In my opinion it's amazing this politically incorrect movie got made. It deals with the role of Black-owned firearms during the U.S. civil rights movement in a way that is incompatible with contemporary Hollywood liberal thought. Showtime made it for TV, and I doubt seriously it would have been permitted on the larger screen. The story of the Deacons stands in stark contrast to the 2004 effort by the NAACP to sue the gun manufacturing industry.I wouldn't rate Deacons for Defense high as far as fantastic acting or a gripping plot, but both are above average. Even without the history, it stands alone as an action movie.On the other hand, I believe it is a historically accurate movie, based both on what I remember growing up during that era, and published research citing contemporary accounts of the Deacons. For instance search for "The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration" by Cottrol and Diamond.In short, as entertainment it's better than average; as fodder for discussion or education it's very provocative. Whichever side you're on, it's worth seeing. I viewed the VHS."
Lester L. Carter | PHILA , PA | 02/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Were you there? Were you there when they crucified My Lord. Were you there when they abused My Children? Were you there when they tried to dehuminize My Mother? Were you there when they lynched My Father? If you weren't there, then don't tell me kkk could not be diabolical. Don't tell me My Fathers and My Brothers did not feel compelled to defend themselves. Perhaps some things may have been stretched for dramatic purpose. But, the lesson is there. I don't mind my children watching this. It let's them know, we did not all march around singing 'We Shall Overcome.' Sometimes some of us felt the need to overcome right now. Some may have given their lives for the struggle. But, many did not feel the need to go gently into that noose. So, if you weren't there, let my story be told."