*HBO and Kunhardt Productions have decided to make all 35 hours of interviews obtained for their Martin Luther King, Jr. documentary “King in the Wilderness” available on the internet for free, so that folks who don’t pay monthly for HBO can also benefit from the treasure trove.
The film, which premiered Monday (April 3) on HBO, explores the civil rights icon’s life after his “I Have a Dream” speech ended. The producers, including executives Taylor Branch and renowned King biographer and author Trey Ellis, were seeking to create a more intimate portrait of King.
“The story of the first 10 years of the Civil Rights movement is so well-known, culminating in ‘I Have a Dream,’“ director Peter Kunhardt told The Hollywood Reporter. “No one wanted to see that again.”
Instead, Kunhardt, Branch and Ellis kept “King in the Wilderness” focused on the last three years of King’s life — a period in time that seems to mirror the current political division in America.
“The issues in this film are so applicable to what’s going on now,” Branch said. “Therefore, it will be a new movement and a new King relative to what people expect. We pigeon-holed him for a long time as somebody who was very popular and had a sunny belief in ‘I Have a Dream.’ This is a much more anguished King.”
The filmmakers decided to make the interviews available online for free In order to share more first-hand information about King.
“We’re going to be releasing these via YouTube and a platform that we’re going to create called the Kunhardt Film Foundation, and we’re going to put all the unreleased interviews up on the site in conjunction with the educational outreach of this film,” George Kunhardt, producer and one of Peter’s sons, told THR.
According to producer Teddy Kunhardt, another son of Peter, HBO is “making the film public, as well,” starting on the pay cabler “for a while” before being released on YouTube.
Watch the film’s trailer above. Watch a clip from the doc below: