Monday, March 17, 2014



1971 dir. Mike Gray and Howard Alk

1967, dir. Ed Pincus and David Neuman
The Murder of Fred Hampton began as a film portrait of Hampton and the Illinois Black Panther Party, but half way through the shoot, Hampton was murdered by Chicago policeman. In an infamous moment in Chicago history and politics, over a dozen policeman burst into Hampton's apartment while its occupants were sleeping, killing Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark and brutalizing the other occupants.

Filmmakers Mike Gray and Howard Alk arrived a few hours later to shoot film footage of the crime scene that was later used to contradict news reports and police testimony. Recently restored and reworked by Gray, The Murder of Fred Hampton is a chilling slice of American history.

"The Murder Of Fred Hampton illuminates the magnetic fervor, militant eloquence, and sheer infectious ideological energy of 'living high on the people,' that Chairman Fred embodied, much like Malcolm. And it was that threat to the state and the status quo, a combination of political rage transcending fear and the passionate pursuit of broad popular unity against social and economic injustice, that invoked Hampton's valiant iconic immortality and also abrupt victimhood. Rendering The Murder Of Fred Hampton a visual and oral blueprint of cautionary wisdom and mass inspiration." -- Prairie Miller, WBAI Film Critic
"In 1965, the second year of intense voter registration drives in Mississippi, we decided to make a film in the southwest corner of the state. Little civil rights work had been done there because of the danger in the region. Our approach was to seek out several story lines and then continue with the most interesting. A car bombing of a civil rights leader while we were there changed everything. The event emphasized the rifts in the black community around the demands for equality. Rifts between teenagers and women on the one hand and the black business community on the other. Rifts between black males forming armed protection groups and the call for non-violence by the major civil rights groups. And rifts between grassroots organizations and more traditional leadership organizations such as the FDP (Freedom Democratic Party) and the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)."