On the wall of Sam Pollard’s childhood home, there hung three portraits — Jesus Christ, President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — their gazes constant and presence ever-felt as the young man navigated life in East Harlem.
They were his heroes. They could do no wrong. But as he grew up and into his career — now as an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker — Pollard knows better.
He sees them as the complicated men that they were, particularly the latter since making his latest documentary, “MLK/FBI,” the first to uncover the extent of the bureau’s deeply questionable monitoring and harassment of King and his closest confidants, which will open the virtual Hamptons Doc Fest on Friday, December 4, ahead of its official release by IFC Films on January 15.
Despite what the infamous surveillance and newly declassified files uncovered, Pollard’s opinion of the civil rights activist hasn’t changed one bit, he explained during a Zoom call last week. But his own responsibility to cover the movement — past, present and future — certainly has.Read More