In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group Move came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a Move-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “…let the fire burn.” Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.

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Trailers

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Ratings and Reviews

3.9 out of 5
44 Ratings
44 Ratings

98% TOMATOMETER

  • Average 8.3/10
  • Fresh 42
  • Rotten 1

Critics Consensus: Smartly edited and heartbreakingly compelling, Let the Fire Burn uses archival footage to uncover a troubling -- and still deeply resonant -- chapter in American history.

Cast & Crew

Cast
Michael Ward
Director
Jason Osder

Information

Studio
Zeitgeist Films
Genre
Documentary
Released
Copyright
© 2013 Jason Osder and The George Washington University

Languages

Primary
English (Stereo, Dolby 5.1)

Accessibility

CC
Closed captions refer to subtitles in the available language with addition of relevant nondialogue information.

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