Pick of the Day: “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America”

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Read Time:2 Minute, 15 Second



For essentially the most half, the documentary “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” is made up of archival footage, images, and recordings. The few speaking head interviews included have been filmed many years in the past, and there are occasional bits of textual content that inform us of context or trivia. Total, nevertheless, we’re listening to from Hamer instantly. It’s a storytelling system that makes the movie really feel extraordinarily private, much less like a biography and extra like a diary.
Born right into a sharecropping household in Mississippi, Hamer was a civil rights activist devoted to bettering entry to voting, healthcare, and financial alternative for the Black group in the course of the ’60s and ’70s. I knew little or no of her story going into “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America,” however as I watched Pleasure Davenport’s doc, I felt as if I used to be attending to know Hamer as an individual, versus studying about her as a historic determine. Therein lies the magic: by presenting Hamer sharing her personal ideas, through speech or tune, the movie permits its viewers to expertise her ardour and charisma first-hand. There’s not the barrier between topic and viewer that’s current in lots of documentaries.
As is the case in different docs specializing in social justice actions and leaders of the previous, comparable to “My Name Is Pauli Murray” and “The Janes,” “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” unpacks the parallels between its topic’s time and ours. We see white politicians claiming that racism doesn’t exist, whereas sustaining a straight face; activists being labeled as “radical,” “leftist,” or “communist” when their agenda contains basic items like bettering vitamin and schooling; and Black girls repeatedly being sidelined in political discussions, even by those that would contemplate themselves allies. And, after all, two of Hamer’s greatest priorities — voting rights and adequate healthcare — are in very precarious positions in 2022.
Nonetheless, one can’t come away from the movie with out feeling impressed. Listening to Hamer’s phrases, seeing her ardour for human rights, it’s apparent why she linked with individuals then and continues to take action now. Not solely did she battle to make the world a greater place, she made others need to battle, too. “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” is a celebration of her legacy and a reminder that america Hamer dreamed of — the place there’s true fairness for Black residents — is feasible, however nonetheless hasn’t come to fruition.
“Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” premieres tonight at 9 p.m. EST on PBS, and can air February 24 at 8 p.m. EST on WORLD Channel.



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