A Tribute to a Filmmaker Who’s Chronicled Black Life, From Civil Rights to Post-Katrina New Orleans

Sam Pollard is one of the most overlooked cinematic multihyphenates in the US. An editor, producer, director, and professor active for more than four decades, he’s played a huge role in chronicling Black US life through both his own work and his collaborations with filmmakers like Spike Lee. His newest film, MLK/FBI, is a bracing look at how the government and intelligence community monitored and harangued Martin Luther King Jr. for years. To mark the occasion, Film at Lincoln Center has put together a tribute to Pollard, streaming several of his works starting this week.

The centerpiece of the program is When the Levees Broke, Spike Lee’s 2006 miniseries on a devastated New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which Pollard produced and edited. It also includes three documentaries directed by Pollard himself: Maynard (about Maynard Holbrook Jackson, the first Black mayor of Atlanta), Sammy Davis, Jr.: I Gotta Be Me (a biography of the beloved entertainer), and Two Trains Runnin’ (about activists and musicians who traveled to Mississippi in the summer of 1964).

Individual titles in the program can be rented for $10 each, and the three films are available bundled together for $15.

When: January 15-22
Where: Online

More info at the Film at Lincoln Center website.

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