“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" by Karani Marcia Johnson

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Members of the Black Panthers at a rally in 1968. CreditStephen Shames
Los Angeles _  PAFF
The Pan African Film Festival opened, Thursday February 5th in Los Angeles, with a riveting film, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”, by the award winning director Stanley Nelson. The film targets the labeling of the Panthers by Hoover and the FBI as a terrorist organization but carefully undermines that image with footage of the Pantherʼs feeding 20,000 children breakfast everyday, the printing and distribution of their paper, their political acumen in utilizing the mainstream press as well as the strong support from white college students, who believing the Panthers were being persecuted, rallied behind the right of the Black Panthers to defend themselves and the black community against the brutality and attacks of the police. One of the highlights of the film was footage of Chicago Chapterʼs Fred Hampton, organizing white Appalachians, prior to his brutal murder, while drugged and asleep in his bed. That moment with the Appalachians, underscored the fact that the Panthers were not a hate group against whites, but against oppression of anyone. In light of Ferguson and police shootings around the country, this movie has monumental elevance. The film is an entertaining must-see for all who are looking to better understand where we are at this historical moment and where we might go in the future” says PAFF Founder and Executive Director, Ayuko Babu. The film premiered at Sundance and is scheduled for theatrical release in select theatres by PBS. Nelsonʼs film lab Firelight films recently received a MacArthur genius award. Nelson also received the National Humanites Medal from President Obama in 2013. Other films include The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords”, “ The Freedom Riders”, and “The Murder of Emmett Till”. For more information about his films and how to bring them to your community contact firelightmediatv.com. The Pan African Film Festival continues in Los Angeles until February 16th with an array of outstanding films, included “Freeway: A Crack In The System”, about the notorious Rick Ross, and his alleged complicity with the CIA in destroying black communities through the distribution of crack cocaine.
For more information visit PAFF.org

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