Mumia: Long Distance RevolutionaryHD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
Before he was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1981 and sentenced to die, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a gifted journalist and brilliant writer. Now after more than 30 years in prison and despite attempts to silence him, Mumia is not only still alive but continuing to report, educate, provoke and inspire. Stephen Vittoria's new feature documentary is an inspiring portrait of a man whom many consider America's most famous political prisoner - a man whose existence tests our beliefs about freedom of expression. Through prison interviews, archival footage, and dramatic readings, and aided by a potent chorus of voices including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Amy Goodman and others, this riveting film explores Mumia's life before, during and after Death Row.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 17
- Fresh: 8
- Rotten: 9
- Average Rating: 5.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: This film is certainly a bracing change from the usual back-and-forth of the evening news.
Fresh: Vittoria avoids discussing the crime for which Abu-Jamal spent 29 years in solitary confinement on death row, instead tracing the path of a brilliant journalist whose message cannot be silenced.
Rotten: A film that would let us decide the pros and cons of his life for ourselves would certainly be welcome.
Rotten: An obstructive, agitprop style detracts from the important, singularly American story buried in Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary ...
I've long been fascinated by Mumia--his story, his words, his endurance. And if you want to track the particulars of his case and his wrongful imprisonment, there are many great pieces out there to watch. But if you want to meet Mumia and feel his power, this is the movie to see. It truly covers the "long distance" of an amazing revolutionary, and it does it by pushing the boundaries of the medium. We don't see documentaries like this one that merges literature, art, performance, history and storytelling into a snowball that rolls toward you, consumes you and leaves you flattened. In a good way.
This film is a real eye opener. Mumia is a must see for every American. For those who already understand what lengths the government machine can and does go to in order to suppress revolutionary voices and actions, it adds fuel to the smoldering fire. To those who don't already understand, let's hope it is a small ray of sunshine piercing the elaborate red, white and blue smoke and mirror environment you have been brought up with and swallowed hook, line and sinker. Incredibly well researched and brilliantly executed by Stephen Vittoria, a documentary filmmaker at the very top of his game, Mumia is populated by a who's who of revolutionary thinkers who bring their thoughtful commentary to bear on this important subject. The subject of the film, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is nothing less than a universal thinker, philosopher and visionary. Mumia can extemporize and speak on virtually any subject or event without research or calculation at a higher and more thorough and profound level than most PHDs could if given a week in the central library to prepare to address a topic. Mumia thinks and speaks in an improvisational manner that can only be analogized to the riffs of jazz greats Coltrane, Davis and Monk. Don't miss it and watch it twice.
Powerful and eye-opening
I grew up in the Philadelphia area, and both of my parents were born and raised in Philadelphia as well, so I was more than familiar with Mumia's story. That is - the one the media wants you to know.
I never really gave it much thought. As a child and teen, I just assumed, rather ignorantly, that what I was told was true. I also never understood why everyone was so interested in the case after so many years and a conviction had passed. But as I grew, I was able to educate myself more, and in doing so my opinions changed.
The best documentaries are the ones that draw emotions. If, afterwards, I don't feel angered or inspired or enlightened, then the doc and the filmmakers didn't do what they had intended. There is nothing worse than a bad doc, but there is nothing better than a great one. Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu Jamal is a GREAT documentary. It made me angry, it made me sad, and it made me what to run out of the movie theatre and DO something.
What I loved about the doc, besides it's ability to draw emotions from viewers, is that it told a story that we aren't familiar with. If you're familiar with Mumia, then you know all about the case, so 2 hours worth of "this-is-why-he's-innocent" really wouldn't have swayed you one way or the other. But Steve took a different, and I believe more powerful, route, to tell Mumia's story. He showed us the Mumia that our media and government want to silence, and by doing so, Steve has given Mumia an even more powerful voice.