Wednesday 23rd June 2021
10am, 2pm, 5pm, 7.30pm
Directed by Sharka King
In March of 1968, J. Edgar Hoover issued a memorandum to the agents of COINTELPRO, a covert — and illegal — series of counterintelligence operations: “Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement.” Hoover’s directive went on to caution that Martin Luther King Jr “could be a very real contender for this position”.
This stirring and distressingly relevant docudrama depicts the rise and FBI-orchestrated fall of another, lesser-known Black civil rights leader, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther. Unbeknownst to Hampton, there was a rat in the ranks because William O’Neal had been offered a plea deal by the FBI to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Hampton.
A powerful, and candidly sympathetic, political biography with contemporary relevance. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Letting his talented cast lead the way, King has made a film centred on roiled emotions and relationships that are once fractured and loving. – Observer