In 1960, Lowndes County, AL--despite being 80% Black--had zero registered Black voters. This film chronicles the courageous men and women, famous and unknown, who put their lives on the line to secure the right to vote for everyone. The story here is told by the Black and white people who were there at the time, including grassroots organizers and citizens content with the status quo, who share their personal anecdotes of that tumultuous time, lending an uncommon intimacy and authenticity to this historical documentary. Against a backdrop of blatant and brutal violence against freedom fighters, a young Stokely Carmichael brings passion to the crusade, and we witness the evolution of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) into a powerful force on the frontlines, fanning the cause outward throughout the South.
Celebrated documentarians and Tribeca alums Sam Pollard and Geeta Gandbhir expertly weave rarely seen archival footage and first-person testimony to create a solid sense of place and capture the high-stakes tension on the ground. Through their expert direction emerges an intimate, insightful snapshot of this seminal moment in the quest for Civil Rights, a film whose relation to the current assault on the right to vote makes it urgently relevant.--Karen McMullen
Samuel D. Pollard is an American film director, editor, producer, and screenwriter. His films have garnered numerous awards such as Peabodys, Emmys®, and an Academy Award® nomination. Geeta Gandbhir is an Emmy® and Peabody award-winning director, producer, and editor.