THE BLACK PAN­THERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVO­LU­TION

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Stan­ley Nel­son’s doc­u­men­tary about the Black Pan­thers’ for­ma­tion in 1967 is es­pe­cially timely as we find our­selves in a new wave of racial ten­sion and ac­tivism with the rise of the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, formed — like the Pan­thers — in op­po­si­tion to po­lice vi­o­lence. For­mer mem­bers tell the story of the move­ment’s rise and fall, which was both mil­i­ta­rized with guns and ded­i­cated to so­cial progress through free break­fast pro­grams and med­i­cal clin­ics. They re­count ha­rass­ment their fam­i­lies en­dured for their ac­tivism as well as the big per­son­al­i­ties of the lead­ers, and sex­ism within the or­ga­ni­za­tion. With writ­ten doc­u­men­ta­tion flash­ing on the screen, re­tired Oak­land po­lice of­fi­cers dis­cuss how the or­ga­ni­za­tion was tar­geted by law en­force­ment agen­cies and the FBI. Not rated. 113 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jen­nifer Levin)

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