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9 Documentaries to Watch for Martin Luther King Jr Day

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> Kino Lorber
Photo credit:
Kino Lorber

“King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis” (1970) 
Sidney Lumet’s 1970 documentary features celebrity narrators telling the story Martin Luther King Jr. during the period of the Civil Rights Movement.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> Warner Bros.
Photo credit:
Warner Bros.

“Malcolm X” (1972) 
The Academy Award-nominated “Malcolm X” from director Arnold Perl documents the life and death of the civil rights leader.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> PBS
Photo credit:
PBS

“Eyes on the Prize” (1987) 
PBS’ 14-hour documentary “Eyes on the Prize” originally aired in 1987. The series, narrated by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee founding member Julian Bond tells the story of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from 1954-65. Stream it on Max.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> Clarity Films
Photo credit:
Clarity Films

“Freedom on My Mind” (1994) 
The Oscar-nominated “Freedom on My Mind,” produced and directed by Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford, chronicles the Mississippi voter registration struggles of 1961 to 1964. Stream it on Max.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> First Run Features
Photo credit:
First Run Features

“Neshoba” (2008) 
The 2008 documentary “Neshoba” from directors Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano examines the racial attitudes of Neshoba County residents 40 years after the murder of 3 civil rights workers by the hands of the Ku Klux Klan.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> Freedom Song Productions
Photo credit:
Freedom Song Productions

“Soundtrack for a Revolution” (2009) 
Bill Guttentag’s 2009 documentary, featuring contemporary artists like The Roots and John Legend, takes a look at the role music played during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> PBS
Photo credit:
PBS

“Freedom Riders” (2010) 
Stanley Nelson’s 2010 documentary, produced by Firelight Media for PBS American Experience, marked the 50th anniversary of the civil rights activists who challenged racial segregation by riding buses into the Deep South.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> PBS
Photo credit:
PBS

“The March” (2013) 
Narrated by Denzel Washington and directed by John Akomfrah, 2013’s “The March” features interviews with organizers and attendees of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march on Washington D.C. in 1963.

<div class="screen-reader-text">Photo credit:</div> IFC Films
Photo credit:
IFC Films

“MLK/FBI” (2020) 

Based on newly declassified materials, including thousands of hours of audio recordings, Sam Pollard explores the FBI’s extensive surveillance of King — and the personal flaws that the bureau hoped to exploit to bring him down. Stream it on Hulu.

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