MLK/FBI is the first film to uncover the extent of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals. Featuring interviews with key cultural figures, including former FBI Director James Comey, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.
FOLCS offered a screening of MLK/FBI, in partnership with IFC Films ahead of a Conversation with director, Sam Pollard; producer, Benjamin Hedin; and historian, author, and Harvard Professor, Annette-Gordon Reed on March 4, 2021.
Sam Pollard is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated director and producer. His films for HBO,PBS, and the Discovery Channel include the documentaries Four Little Girls, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Slavery by Another Name, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I Gotta Be Me, ACORN and the Firestorm, Why We Hate, and Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children. Pollard also directed two episodes of the groundbreaking series Eyes on the Prize II.
Since 1994 Pollard has served on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and lives in New York City.
Producer of the Grammy-nominated documentary Two Trains Runnin’, Benjamin Hedin has written about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement for The New Yorker, the Atlantic, The Oxford American, the Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. He is the author of In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now and the editor of an anthology, Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader. In the spring of 2021 Triquarterly Books will publish his novel Under the Spell.
Historian; Author; Professor
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (UVA Press, 1997), Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan (PublicAffairs, 2001), Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (Oxford University Press, 2002), a volume of essays that she edited, Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010) and, most recently, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016).
Gordon-Reed was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford (Queens College) 2014-2015. Between 2010 and 2015, she was the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She was the 2018-2019 President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She is the current President of the Ames Foundation. A selected list of her honors includes a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Anisfeld-Wolf Book Prize. Gordon-Reed served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College from 2010 to 2018. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and was a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.