Monday, March 29, 2010
Nashville Fest preview: Freedom Riders
With both WorldFest/Houston and the Nashville Film Festival set to kick off next month, I'll soon have to start work on my must-see lists. I'm especially eager to catch the Nashville screening of Freedom Riders, the latest documentary from Stanley Nelson, a filmmaker whose past efforts -- including The Murder of Emmett Till, Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind and The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords -- have firmly established him as contemporary cinema's premier illuminator of African-American history. Of course, it helps that he's one hell of a storyteller -- and in Freedom Riders, he has one hell of a story to tell. My Variety colleague Andrew Barker has raved: "Stripping away the platitudes and feel-good generalizations of so many civil-rights documentaries, Stanley Nelson's Freedom Riders is a superb piece of filmic journalism." Sounds like a must-see to me.