NBC offered a teaser preview of their upcoming original documentary, “Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media” hosting a screening of select moments at the Paley Center for Media in New York City on Tuesday evening.
“It takes a lot of guts to confront police,” said MSNBC anchor Joy Reid during a panel discussion after the filming. “They have absolute power of life and death over citizens, and not a lot of accountability. I respect anybody who organizes themselves to confront violence.”
The film tracks the origins of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s and ties them to the modern Black Lives Matter movement of today. It also follows how movement leaders like Martin Luther King used the media to spread their message. It’s release is timed to honor the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.
“By the brilliant design of Dr. King and the movement’s leaders, each chapter of the civil rights struggle played out dramatically on the evening news,” said NBC News chairman Chairman and Executive Producer Andy Lack on the same panel. “Powerful images beamed into living rooms, haunted Americans and eventually brought about historic change. Today’s movements have smartphones and live streams – but they still depend on the sheer force of video and pictures to tell a story and move people to action.”
“I am a grandson of the south, the darkest heart of Mississippi,” he added. “I’ve had a deeply personal connection to it, and I wanted to make this film for a decade or more.”
The film was directed and produced by Phil Bertelsen and Rachel Dretzin who joined Reid and Lack on stage. The evening was moderated by NBC Nightly News host, Lester Holt, who also narrated the documentary.
The full two-hour doc will air on NBC on Saturday, March 24th at 8 p.m and feature on-screen guest interviews with Rep. John Lewis, Chris Hayes, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Joy Reid and many others.