Freedom Riders (2010) – Documentary Retroview

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Reminding Us of The Ongoing Struggle For Civil Rights

Time moves on, and people forget. But we must never forget the Freedom Riders who challenged racial segregation in America’s Deep South and instigated changes in the laws and in social behavior that support equal rights and opportunity today. Documentarian Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Riders chronicles the actions of and pays tribute to an important group of civil rights activists who played a major role in the nonviolent civil rights movement.

Chronicling The 1960s Struggle for Civil Rights

Stanley Nelson’s historically important documentary chronicles the six month period from May through November of 1961, during which some 400 black and white Americans made it their joint mission to challenge racial segregation in America’s Deep South. Traveling together by bus and train, en mass, the Freedom Riders deliberately defied Jim Crow laws. As documented in the film, which effectively compiles archival footage with stirring voice over narration and on camera interviews with civil rights activists, the Freedom Riders met with race hatred and mob violence on every leg of their journey. Many were brutally beaten up by avid racists while others cheers or simply looked away. Most of the Freedom Riders were were, at the very least, imprisoned for breaking the law.

Freedom Riders not only documents the actions taken by this group of dedicated civil rights activists, it reminds us of their intense struggle to change the law. The film is also a tribute to their nonviolent approach and to their achievements in instigating change.

Lest we forget, this inspiring documentary is an important reminder of the way things were during the 1960s and to recognize and honor the valiant efforts and personal sacrifices that were made to extend civil rights across the United States.

Film Details:

Title: Freedom Riders
Director: Stanley Nelson
Broadcast Premiere: May 16, 2011 (PBS)
Distributor: International Circuit Films
Location: USA
Language: English
Official Site

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