The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation [DVD] [2006]

This powerful documentary chronicles the injustice exacted on three members of the Black Panther party, incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. Director/Co-producer/editor Jimmy O'Halligan somehow gathers an overabundance of information and concisely packs it into a little under two hours of remarkable and, surprisingly irresistible, commentary and history about this harrowing situation. Listening to the empathetic 2005 Noble Peace nominee Yuri Kochiyama, a Japanese woman forced into a concentration camp in World War II commenting on J.Edgar Hoover's position on the Panthers, or the eloquent and highly informed Dr. Terry, Kupers Ph. D., author of Prison Madness, giving his perspective, is a smart juxtaposition to the tough political words that permeate the pastiche of interviews with other sympathizers . The byproduct of this spirited defense of these men is the obvious indictment of the prison system making The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation a serious forum on human rights. The eloquent Geronimo (ji Jaga) Pratt, Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party, explains how the government creates "images, shapes, illusions" that are based on lies, deception and manipulation. The movie is an intense study of how some people are made targets of the state, the war that is waged on the oppressed human spirit, and how that spirit can strengthen itself and find legitimate support. The viewer gets a distinct definition of the phrase "Power to the People" which John Lennon turned into a pop song, an ideology that comes to life at the film's conclusion when different individuals repeat "Free the Angola 3, support all political prisoners." The DVD contains an intriguing music video as well as the film trailer.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Music video for the song Angola 3 (5:13) as written and produced by Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) in support of the Angola 3, plus the trailer
  • 3 Black Panters and the LSP (8:38), featuring outtakes and music by truth universal

Synopsis

The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation
An underdog tale to end all, Jimmy O'Halligan and Scott Crow's documentary The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation travels inside of one of the most astounding criminal cases of the late 20th century. In the late 1960s, three African American men - Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King Wilkerson - were each convicted of ties to a murder and sentenced to death row in Angola Prison (also known as the Louisiana State Penitentiary or "The Farm") in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. At that time, The Farm qualified as the single most vile and reprehensible penitentiary in the United States - a onetime slave plantation, and known in the late 1960s for continuing to incorporate systematic rapes and homicides. At The Farm, one's chances of survival were slim and one's chances of a humane existence nonexistent. Horrified by the living conditions before them, Wallace, Woodfox and King banded together with other prisoners and organized the first intra-penitentiary Black Panther party in the United States - designed, like its outside counterparts, to fight collectively for social justice at any cost. In the case of these three men, that cost was simple: though they managed to effectuate tremendous improvements in the quality of life at the prison, guards sentenced each of the three men to decades of solitary confinement - Wallace for 36 years, Woodfox for 36 years and Wilkerson for 29 (after which he was exonerated). COINTELPRO, a onetime crackdown on "subversive radicals" by the FBI, swept in and made matters worse. The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation tells this deeply sad and horrifying story, supplemented by interviews with the three prisoners, Malik Rahim, Noelle Hanrahan, Rod Coronado and others. Fellow Black Panther and longtime penitentiary inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal narrates. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal
    Mumia Abu-Jamal - Narrator
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