Second-time filmmaker Shola Lynch, having just finished her first
project about Brooklyn-based Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s 1972
presidential bid, did not want to make her next film about “another
black woman.” But political activist Angela Davis was simply too rich of
a subject for Lynch to pass up. After acquiring an exclusive contract
that allowed Lynch access to Mr. Davis’s story and the people in
Angela’s life, the process of constructing a second feature-length
documentary was underway. “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”
took Lynch eight years to complete, but what came out of that long
process is an emotional, political crime drama “with a love story at the
center,” a story that offers a detailed look into Angela Davis’s life
as a political activist and the activities that lead to her 1971 court
case. Through rare verité footage, exclusive photographs, and
never-before-seen courtroom sketches, Lynch weaves a narrative out of
Angela’s crucial political activism in her young life.
“Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” screened on Tuesday,
October 15 in Los Angeles as a part of the IDA Documentary Screening
Series. Filmmaker Shola Lynch spoke with Indiewire’s Dana Harris about why she was willing to risk being pigeonholed for the sake of a good story.
Katherine Relth is the Digital Content Producer for IDA News.
You can watch more moments from this Q&A at the IDA Screening Series playlist on their YouTube channel.