Revolution ’67, the award-winning documentary about Newark’s 1967 “summer of discontent” is now available on DVD for sale for $26.96 at www.Revolution67.com. See the trailer below.
TDN regulars may recall how this film brought clarity and stirred controversy about the events of July 1967. Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno, native Newarkers, are fantastic people whose documentary offers insight into why the riots unfolded the way they did. They both were kind enough to meet up for a podcast back in July to field questions about the film. A link to the podcast is also available below.
REVOLUTION ’67 DVD available for sale at http://www.Revolution67.com
By Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno
Contains FULL VERSION (90 minutes) and BROADCAST VERSION (83 mins.) on one DVD
$26.96 (Home Use); various prices (Educational Use)
“Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno looks at [an] urban confrontation and conflagration, in Newark, to tell a wider story.” — New York Daily News
“Fast-paced, effective and smart…By the end, the director achieves her objective: illustrating how his can happen in any U.S. city, and that the conditions are happening again.” — Herald Tribune
“It is a documentary film like none other! Revolution ’67 is a bold, inquisitive, and important contribution…That it sheds light on a complicated narrative about race, power, community agency, and memory secures its place among the finest films of the genre.” — Clement Price, Rutgers University
Award-winning, critically acclaimed, feature-length documentary, broadcast nationally on the premier PBS series P.O.V.
REVOLUTION ’67 focuses on the explosive urban rebellion which erupted in Newark, New Jersey, in July 1967; a tragedy caused by similar problems that sparked “race riots” across America.
What’s revealed are long-standing racial, economic, and political forces which generated inner city poverty and perpetuate it today. Newark residents, police, officials, and urban commentators, including writer/activist Amiri Baraka, journalist Bob Herbert, prominent historians, and 60s activist Tom Hayden, recount the vivid, day-to-day details of the uprising. But they also trace those traumatic days back to decades of industrial decline, unemployment, job and housing discrimination, federal programs favoring suburbs over cities, police impunity, political corruption, and the costly, divisive Vietnam War.
The spark igniting this firestorm of pent-up racial rage was, as is so often the case, an encounter between a black man and the police. On July 12th, 1967, two white officers stopped a black taxi driver for a minor traffic violation, beat him, and dragged him into the local precinct. A rumor spread through black neighborhoods that the driver had died, inciting a crowd to rampage through the streets, set fires, break windows, and loot businesses.
The film takes viewers on a daily chronicle of events, including the calling in of the State Police and National Guard, their occupation of the city, and use of unnecessary firepower. Final toll: 26 dead.
REVOLUTION ’67 ends with an update on conditions in Newark today that are also emblematic of many other U.S. cities.
Click the play button above to see the trailer.
‘Summer of Discontent’ says that the unrest started with a raucous protest at the former Fourth Precinct, after police had arrested and severely beaten a black cab driver named John Smith. It offers compelling facts, including that the National Guard and state troopers pumped out roughly 150 rounds of ammunition for every one supposedly fired by local ‘snipers’. There were no indictments for the 26 local residents killed (some while crouching on their apartment floors), overwhelmingly at the hands of firing by uniformed forces.
July 10: Revolution ‘67 Stirs Controversy
Since the documentary deals with a subject that, like a kaleidoscope, drastically changes depending on the perspective of the viewer, you had to see this coming. The Star Ledger has posted an op-ed by respected civil rights leader Robert Curvin entitled, “PBS distorts Newark riot history”.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jerome and Marylou Bongiorno yesterday evening about their film Revolution ’67, which has been making headlines in New Jersey for its portrayal of the “summer of discontent” in Newark. The civil disturbance took the lives of 26 individuals and caused millions of dollars in property damage in the city, which recognized the fortieth anniversary of the event last Thursday. The interview is about 31 minutes.