Let the Fire Burn
Black Lives • 1h 35m
Directed by Jason Osder • Documentary • 2013 • 95 minutes
In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “...let the fire burn.” Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.
Up Next in Black Lives
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1991 • 8 minutes
Marlon Riggs' experimental music video politicizes the homoeroticism of African-American men. With images—sensual, sexual, and defiant—and words intended to provoke, Anthem reasserts the self-evident right to life and liberty in an era of...
Black is... Black Ain't
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1995 • 87 minutes
Having grappled with the stereotypes imposed upon black people by white America, Riggs turned his attention to another fraught issue: the definitions of “blackness” that African-Americans impose on each other. Weaving together poetry, co...
Bronx Gothic (Okwui Okpokwasili)
Directed by Andrew Rossi • Documentary • With Okwui Okpokwasili • 2017 • 91 minutes
From director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times, The First Monday in May) comes an electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show, Bronx Gothic. R...