DirectorStanley Nelson Jr. ScreenplayStanley Nelson Jr.
Initial releaseSeptember 2, 2015 (New York City) Film seriesBlack Panthers film series ProducersStanley Nelson Jr., Laurens Grant Similar moviesThe Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a 2015 American documentary film directed and written by Stanley Nelson Jr. The film combines archival footage and interviews with surviving Panthers and FBI agents to tell the story of the revolutionary black organization Black Panther Party. It is Nelson Jr.'s eighth film to premiere at Sundance. The film was pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest's MeetMarket in 2014 and is the first of a three-part series of documentary films about African-American history America Revisited. It will be followed by Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and The Slave Trade: Creating a New World.
The film premiered on January 23, 2015 at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival before receiving a limited North American theatrical release on September 2, 2015.
the black panthers vanguard of the revolution a documentary on the 60s civil rights group
The film took seven years to complete. Nelson interviewed over fifty people for the film, with around thirty making it into the final cut. Infamous wiretaps of the Black Panthers were never accessed through the Freedom of Information Act, despite repeated attempts on behalf of the producer. Much of the archival footage used in the film has never been publicly broadcast before, with much time and effort going into locating and digitizing obscure resources.
The film received critical acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 92% rating based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The site's consensus states: "The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution offers a fascinating -- if somewhat rudimentary -- introduction to a movement, and an era, that remains soberingly relevant today." Metacritic reports an 80 out of 100 rating based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, describing it as "a strong if only occasionally transporting biography of a movement that terrified the establishment in its day."