*The extent to which the FBI spent to spy on Martin Luther King Jr. is explored in the new documentary “MLK/FBI” by director Sam Pollard. The film is based on a 1981 book by historian David Garrow.
“I know the history of Ida B. Wells. I understand the history of America after Reconstruction and how African Americans have struggled through the years of Jim Crow and segregation and lynching,” the director said in an interview wih The Atlantic. “I think one of the important things about this film is that it’s an opportunity not just for those of us who know this history, but for those who don’t, to come to grips with the complexity of American history.”
As noted by the outlet, on August 30, the head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence sent his colleagues a memo about King, warning “We must mark him now as the most dangerous Negro in the future of this Nation.”
Sam Pollard’s new documentary about the FBI surveillance of MLK couldn’t arrive at a better time. Even during a permanent white nationalist insurrection, the Feds are not friends to Black folks. Never ever. https://t.co/jmhSqDWCjX
— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 16, 2021
As reported by Urban Hollywood 411, the IFC Films release is based on “newly discovered and declassified files, interviews, and restored archival footage,” and details the how FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover viewed King as “the world’s most notorious liar.
A voice in the trailer says, “The FBI was most alarmed about King because of his success.”
Pollard is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker, whose previous documentaries include “Mr. Soul!; Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children;” and “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me.” He is also a frequent collaborator and editor on Spike Lee’s films, including the award-winning HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke.”
His latest work, “MLK/FBI,” opened in select theaters on Friday, Jan. 15. It is also available via Amazon Video, Apple TV, YouTube and other platforms listed here.
Watch the trailer below.