black history: ‘free angela and all political prisoners’ review

February 17, 2014

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners is a breakthrough film about Angela Davis, by Shola Lynch. The documentary is a vivid portrait of Davis’ stance against the miscarriage of justice. Davis was an activist and counterculture trailblazer. The carefully pieced together memoir, archives Davis’ civil disobedience in the face of antsy establishment.
We are given a raw perspective of the system that attempted to suffocate Davis, and the very spirit of rebellion amongst other African Americans who chose to simply exercise their First Amendment rights.

By Priscilla Ward, AFROPUNK Contributor

“What is happening to Davis is only an exaggerated depiction of what happens to African Americans everyday in this country” – excerpt from Free Angela. The film inserts itself into the context of an all too familiar conversation on fairness in our justice system. We are constantly grappling with a politically correct, and if possible polite way to give voice to the fairness conversation.

The film gives us a close-up and personal perspective of Davis’ role in the trail for the deadly 1970 Marin County, Calif. Courtroom takeover. Lynch interviews Davis and her colleagues to get an evocative depiction of the time.

Free Angela outlines her years as a graduate student in Europe, support from the Black Panther Party, as well as the termination of her career as the assistant professor of philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Lynch then chronicles the trial and the dramatic events revolving around it, including Davis’ life threatening escape as a fugitive and 1972 capture.

The passionate resolve of those standing up for Davis and others wrongfully imprisoned, stir the film. The film takes Davis’ side, which some may consider bias. Lynch dives into Davis’ love life while displaying passionate letters to the Black Panther and prison inmate George Jackson. Jackson’s freedom was the purpose of the courtroom takeover. Davis, today is 70 and remains radical. She is an unmanufactured genius and remains a resonant speaker. Her story encourages us to thrust our thoughts into actions.