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John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)

This ninety-minute documentary about the iconic civil rights activist and Georgia congressman John Lewis was released on July 3, 2020, just two weeks before he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of eighty. If you need a shot of encouragement, watch this film! There are a few talking heads who comment on Lewis's sixty years of activism (his siblings, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Lewis Gates, Corey Booker, etc.), but for the most part Lewis tells his own story, of how he was born in rural Alabama in a very segregated south, to his fateful meeting with MLK when he was eighteen, to his thirty-three years in congress, where he fought for civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform, and immigration. I found it especially powerful when the movie featured Lewis all alone in a dark film room watching and then commenting upon archival footage of his participation in the early civil rights movement. Over and over again, wherever he went, Lewis would repeat his mantra: "When you see something that is not right, say something!  Do something! Make trouble — good trouble! Necessary trouble!" For an earlier documentary on Lewis, see the PBS movie "Get in the Way" from 2017. I watched this film on Amazon Streaming.

Dan Clendenin:

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