Movie Moles on Free Angela and all political prisoners

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Mon, 09/23/2013 - 12:00am
Movie Moles review documentary about Angela Davis
Movie Moles Denise Morris and Jan Haaken discuss Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, a documentary about the 1970-72 indictment and trial of the philosophy professor, communist party member, and Black activist Angela Davis, accused of complicity in a failed and fatal attempt to free Black Panther George Jackson. Director Shola Lynch calls her film a crime drama and a love story. Denise and Jan note the oddity of Lynch's decision to promote a romantic version of the relation between Davis and George Jackson, since it was the prosecution's story that cast her as a lovesick woman, a framing Davis resisted. Jan suggests that the film may be a love story about Davis's passion for the movement for the liberation of Black people, poor people, and working-class people. But she also suggests the film may fetishize the beautiful Davis, fixating on her person rather than attending to her politics. Although both reviewers wish the film had said more about capitalism, imperialism, mass incarceration, and Davis's work on abolishing the prison-industrial system, Denise finds the trial footage especially compelling, and both appreciate the rarity of a film focusing on a radical black woman.

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