MLK/FBI (NYFF 2020); Grade: B
Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years New York Film Festival! Next film on the block: MLK/FBI.
MLK/FBI is a documentary film involving Martin Luther King, J Edgar Hoover and the FBI. As Martin Luther King succeeds in a revolution in the non violent civil rights movement, J Edgar Hoover however has plans to take down this acclaimed leader, claiming he’s the most dangerous individual in America. See how the FBI tried an immense amount of effort, to sabotage this man’s reputation.
Martin Luther King being one of my favorite iconic figures, from being a great leader but more so towards the character inside the person, which led my interest towards this documentary. The man was all about bringing peace, happiness, equality, positivity, and most importantly love in the world in which he lived in. What makes his movement special compared to others is the fact like said earlier: It was a non violent movement. Martin Luther King didn’t believe in mass destruction, hate, negativity, and violence because those tactics only make the problem continue if not worsen. That’s why Martin Luther King’s impact has carried on for generations, as there really hasn’t been one single movement that can be compared to his, when/if compared is a complete utterly failure compared to King’s.
MLK/FBI reminds me of a typical history class assignment, the film making of this film is very similar to the likes of those history class documentary programs you watch. Is that a bad thing?! Not really, it’s just the film making style is simply not at all unique in any way. I will say some of the old found footage regarding coverage of J Edgar, LBJ, and Martin Luther King were shown extremely clear, as it was delightful to see.
Substance wise... This is honestly a very intriguing film, in which the feud between J Edgar and the FBI against Martin Luther King was fascinating. As you watch Martin Luther King shine in success with his movement and bringing equality and peace to the nation, you also see J Edgar in a way feeling a great amount of envy/jealously against this civil rights leader. As shown in the documentary J Edgar was against Mr. King as he believed he was for the communist party, as there was an image of Mr. King in a Communist Training class. So it was in J Edgar’s best interest to do all he can to expose Martin Luther King reputation, as Edgar and the FBI bugged everywhere he went regarding his stays in hotels and such.
The recordings in which J Edgar received could potentially wrecked Mr. King’s career, as he wasn’t the flawless human being as portrayed in the world. Apparently there is a great amount of information regarding King partaking in adultery acts, which is against the Christian way in which he is passionate about. There is also more acclaimed information in the recordings, I won’t spoil it but how the FBI report it... I mean damn. What’s interesting is we don’t know exactly if what the FBI has accused of King to be in these found recordings, are exactly true. Could’ve been lies in order to destroy Mr. King as a whole, I mean they even tried to influence Mr. King to partake on the idea of suicide due to the information they gathered... It was that horrific.
In a way you can compare J Edgar to the likes of a modern day Twitter folk: A Human Being in which has nothing to do with his life, other than being utterly obsessed with someone, trying to find any kind of dirt they have, as they desperately try to ruin someone’s lively hood and reputation... J Edgar really is the founder of Cancel Culture. As we watch Martin Luther King coverage, it’s honestly a breath a fresh air when this man speaks. You can tell this is a man whom had a structured plan at hand, a man in which only believes in love and forgiveness, and his unwillingness to give into violence/hate is extraordinary. He literally has all the reasons in the world to fight back with some kind of aggression, however he only responds like a matured adult with only love... God Bless this man’s mindset.
The way this film concludes had my eyes opening extremely wide. The recordings of Martin Luther King in which the FBI recorded can potentially be released in seven years, which could do a great amount of damage against Mr. King. Due to the circumstances of today’s society, I’m honestly not only intrigued but kind of afraid what is bound to happen if those recordings are release. We’re living in an extremely toxic unhealthy culture at the moment, I think the last thing that needs to be release is whatever those tapes carry. I enjoyed the closing statement by Martin Luther’s attorney, as he does confirm one of Martin Luther King’s wrong doings, but asking if that makes him less of a man that he is?! Which the only right answer is: No. No single human being in existence is perfect unless that man is named Jesus, so it’s perfectly fine we forgive Mr. King towards his wrong doing, as we only should feel grateful for the leader that he is and what he had done during his time here on this earth.
Overall, MLK/FBI is a rock solid documentary film. I recommend checking this one out, I hope those that do partake in this film, follow Mr. Kings way and stop following a life in which doesn’t bring any change whatsoever. -Mitch Smietana