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This iconic - and Oscar-nominated - MLK documentary is a major filmmaking accomplishment....
Kino / 185 Minutes / 1970 / Unrated / Street Date: January 15, 2013
This Oscar-nominated documentary provides a lengthy and frequently illuminating look not just at Martin Luther King, Jr. the legend, but at Martin Luther King, Jr. the man on the street. As a thirty-something far more familiar with MLK's speeches than his personal biography, what compelled me most in King: A Filmed Record was simply watching the man work.
We get photos and footage of MLK in pool halls, behind bars, speaking in front of thousands: in giving us a multitude of vantage points from which to watch this man connect to the masses, this doc gets under the skin of MLK's legend in uniquely intimate fashions. It's a long film - more than three hours - but it passes by in a moment.
Kino deserves a pat on the back for liberating the full version of King: A Filmed Record from the vault. It's been available in various formats in truncated forms for years now, but the unedited version has long been in hiding. Now we get a chance to experience this one-of-a-kind film in all its glory: it's compelling, melancholy, investigative, and amazingly evocative.