MLK/FBI ★★★

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CPH: Dox 2021 (ranked)


This review concludes my Copenhagen International Documentary Festival experience! I logged and reviewed 23 titles in total. Not including about five other docs I watched only parts of during the online festival.

MLK/FBI arguably tarnishes the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by disclosing secrets that were not public when he was alive. I say "arguably" because these rumours have circulated since the 1980s and are available on his wikipedia. Clarence B. Jones, advisor, close friend, and speech draft writer, confirms on camera the rumor is true, expressing that should not take anything away from King’s accomplishments. Don’t know what I'm supposed to do with the information except chalk it up to human imperfection, even for the great ones. Ignorance is bliss and not sure I wanted to have an idol of mine knocked off his pedestal.

The FBI’s spying and conduct is also examined in relation to communist threats. While J Edgar Hoover could defend the operations in the nation’s best interest, the breach of privacy and King’s harassment letter is troubling to say the least. As other reviewers noted, you've got to wonder why the filmmaker didn't delay the documentary until 2027? The history books often praise King so interesting to learn that there was a pro-Hoover/anti-King sentiment during the era.

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