ABOVE PHOTO: Panthers on parade at Free Huey rally in Defermery Park (named by the Panther Bobby Hutton Park) in West Oakland. (Credit: Stephen Shames)
“Excellent. What is clear from this sober yet electrifying film is that the power of the Panthers was rooted in their insistence – radical then, radical still – that black lives matter.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
San Francisco, CA — Change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored — cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. Directed, produced and written by Stanley Nelson, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution premieres on Independent Lens on Tuesday, on PBS.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and dozens of others, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.
“Stanley Nelson is one of our greatest chroniclers of American movements for justice and social change,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer. “From the ill-fated People’s Temple to the idealistic young volunteers of Freedom Summer, from the Native American uprising at Wounded Knee to the Black Panther movement, he brings these incendiary, game-changing movements to vivid life in a way that combines clear-eyed analysis with riveting, edge-of-your-seat storytelling.”
Visit the Black Panthers page on (Independent Lens), which features information about the film. The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution on February 16, 2016. The DVD and Blu-ray can be purchased by going to ShopPBS.org or 800-PLAY-PBS.
Additional times: 02/17/16, 7:00 pm YINFO; 02/18/16, 12:00 am YINFO; 02/18/16, 8:00 am YINFO; 02/18/16, 2:00 pm YINFO; 02/20/16, 12:00 pm YINFO; 02/23/16, 2:00 pm Y2.