Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

King in the Wilderness

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

King in the Wilderness

Article excerpt

King in the Wilderness (2018), dir. Peter W. Kunhardt

This documentary focuses on the last three years of Dr. King's life (1965-68) during which he experienced new challenges and developed new views. The narration comes entirely from 22 eyewitnesses who knew him, including Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, and Andrew Young (who was present at the Sundance premiere). They portray him as a man with struggles and flaws, but also one with immense conviction who often found his views in collision with others.

It was during this time period that Dr. King took a public stance against the Vietnam War, which he had been reluctant to do, especially as this put him in opposition to his great ally in the civil rights movement, President Johnson. It was also a period in which King began to focus on the problem of structural economic poverty as one that affects people of all races. King went to Chicago to see the poverty in person, but was shocked when he was met with overt racism from Neo-Nazis. Racism was just as present in the north, and in many ways it was more visceral. His principles of nonviolence, anti-war, anti-poverty, and anti-racism all went together during this time-even though not everyone agreed that nonviolence was the right method. Stokely Carmichael became more vocal in his endorsement of "Black Power" which expressed a militant view at odds with that of King. These were also the years when J. …

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