Three very worthwhile documentaries are now available on DVD and/or VOD for you to check out!
First, Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal is now on iTunes and DVD.
Featuring contributions from the likes of Cornel West, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Rubin Hurricane Carter, Dick Gregory, Peter Coyote, Ruby Dee, M-1, Giancarlo Esposito, Amy Goodman, and many others, Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal, focuses on Abu-Jamal’s career as a prolific writer and journalist from Death Row.
The DVD package includes the explosive new short film Manufacturing Guilt, which details the efforts of the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s office to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal, as the press release states.
The film in no way deals with Mumia’s case, but rather chronicles his life and work as a journalist, writer, philosopher, and revolutionary – both before and after his incarceration.
Further, it follows Mumia’s early career in journalism as a writer for the Black Panther newspaper (at age 15), to a reporter for NPR.
The story then exposes his battles with the American legal system to continue his revolutionary journalism and radio broadcasts from Death Row – a battle he continues to wage to this very day.
The film also explores his impact on social and political discourse both in the United States and around the world.
Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal is directed by Stephen Vittoria, and produced by Noelle Hanrahan, Katyana Farzanrad, and Vittoria.
Watch the trailer below:
Second, I Want My Name Back, directed by Roger Paradiso, centers on Master Gee & Wonder Mike of the ORIGINAL Sugarhill Gang who, 30+ years after the historic recording of their iconic mega-hit Rapper’s Delight, have come back to reclaim their identities and rightful place in Hip Hop history.
Described by the subjects as the “classic label versus artist battle” story, the film is said to give the audience an honest inside look at the origins, trials and tribulations of the original Sugarhill Gang.
Post its premiere at the 18th Slamdance Film Festival in January, One Village Entertainment, an entity of Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment, are releasing the film on DVD and digital download, today, June 11.
This is the unfiltered, unbelievable and unheard story of the originators of Hip Hop – Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee – the one and only, Sugarhill Gang! From a pizza shop in Harlem to performing on the biggest stage in the world, these young MCs seemed to be on the road to endless fame and fortune in the early 80s. But, they would soon find out that they would be taken for a ride by an unscrupulous record company, stealing their money and their name. Much like last year’s Academy Award® winning documentary Searching for Sugarman, here is a film that goes behind the music and reveals the realities of what happens after the gold records and the hype are gone. I Want My Name Back is the journey of two men who want what was taken from them: their names, their legacy and their music!
Poster and release trailer below:
And finally, Drafthouse Films acquired North American rights to the rockumentary A Band Called Death, in February, which is directed by Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino.
The film made its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year, screening in competition, and continued to travel the film festival circuit through this year.
The film’s synopsis reads:
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was Death. Formed in the early ’70s by three teenage brothers from Detroit, Death is credited as being the first black punk band, and the Hackney brothers, David, Bobby, and Dannis, are now considered pioneers in their field. But it wasn’t until recently — when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of Bobby’s attic nearly 30 years after Death’s heyday — that anyone outside a small group of punk enthusiasts had even heard of them. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family chronicle, the story of Death is one of brotherly love and fierce, divinely inspired expression.
Of course, the film features David Hackney, Bobby Hackney, Sr., Dannis Hackney.
Drafthouse, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, has released A Band Called Death on iTunes, ahead of a theatrical run starting on June 28th. So you can watch it in the comfort of your living room, before, or instead of waiting for the theatrical run.
Watch the new release trailer below: