Contrary to her ideological and racial brethren (Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, to name a few) Angela Davis has survived. She wasn’t shot down like some of her peers who paid for their political committment with their own lives. No. Angela Davies is alive today and her story deserves to be told. And it’s through a no-pretense documentary, without frills or gimmicks like in the glossy biopics that Hollywood is so good at producing, that the atypical fate of the woman with the peculiar smile is revealed (when you see the film you’ll understand). Similar to the feature film made about Sixto Rodriguez which came out a few months ago (“Searching for Sugar Man”) “Free Angela” is a luminous documentary about an extraordinary character–an anonymous woman who marked history without losing her integrity or her convictions– whose story needed to be retold.
Divided into two distinct parts (the first one about Angela Davis’s background and the second one about the trial and her imprisonment), the film reveals a side of history which thus far has been given little attention, unveiling a new sort of duel between an individual and the so-called “conventional wisdom” of institutions (heretofore the U.S. government). It’s David v. Goliath for the ages, a fight whose unpredicted outcome leads one to think about the importance of The People, and the sometimes fortunate consequences of political commitment.
“Free Angela and all political prisoners” is a film that’s filled with hope, warms the spirit and appeases the soul. A moment in history which demands to be discovered.