tiff 2012 | September 06, 2012

History, Celebrity, Civil Rights: Top Documentaries at TIFF feature Our Speakers

This year, the Toronto International Film Festival has placed an emphasis on documentaries—and three of them feature some of our most-requested celebrity speakers! Free Angela & All Political Prisoners is a biographical account of the life of Angela Davis. The Central Park Five is the new doc directed by PBS mainstay Ken Burns. And, as we previously wrote, Spike Lee will debut his Michael Jackson documentary, Bad 25, at TIFF.

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch, features some of the first public interviews with civil rights speaker Angela Davis. The film details her very-public incarceration in 1970, and touches on contentious issues surrounding gun control, freedom of speech, and racial prejudice. Davis has covered these issues extensively in her newest books Abolition Democracy, Are Prisons Obsolete? and the upcoming Prisons and American History. Her provocative story and powerful lectures critiquing the American democratic system have earned her support from Will & Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which are executive producers on the film.

Another documentary featuring a very public prosecution is Ken Burns' The Central Park Five. The hard-hitting documentary from the Emmy-winning director of such films as Baseball, Jazz and The Civil War, will detail the infamous case of the “Central Park Jogger.” Burns' film tells the story of five black and Latino teens being tried for the murder of a white female jogger in New York's Central Park. In both his films and his riveting public speeches, the Oscar-nominated director chronicles the events that have shaped America's history—from the grandest narratives to the most personal stories.

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tiff 2012 | September 05, 2012