Two of the most important documentaries I’ve seen have come out of Tribeca Film Festival this year: The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (available for at home viewing) and Lakota Nation vs. United States (not part of the at home selection). In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, we must remember those who have fought for our rights.
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
Directors: Johanna Hamilton, Yoruba Richen
Producer: Christalyn Hampton
This documentary tells the amazing story of Rosa Parks from her humble beginnings in Alabama to eventually working for U.S. Representative John Conyers. Being elected as secretary to her NAACP chapter in Alabama, she fought against segregation. She waited for the right time and the right way to stand up for her rights by not moving for a white person on a bus. She hired lawyer Fred Gray to represent her with the NAACP standing behind her. The events led to the greatest boycott in history: the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The film is not only engaging, but is of the utmost historical importance. Nancy Buirski’s documentary The Rape of Recy Taylor is also recommended for more in-depth detail on a case discussed in The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Rebellious will be streaming on Peacock later in 2022.
Lakota Nation vs. United States
Directors: Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli
Producers: Benjamin Hedin Phil Pinto
Executive producers: Sarah Eagle Heart, Mark Ruffalo
The documentary discusses the history, the treaties that have been violated, and the systematic genocide of the indigenous people of the United States. The indigenous were placed in reservations that were basically concentration camps; the Black Hills territory in the Dakotas was not for sale, but stolen. We have come so far in our history now that Native Americans and non-natives alike are fighting against Big Oil to protect the water. This documentary provides a basis so that we know what harm was done to the Native Americans; we simply must do more to make things right.