Teaching the Film

This film enables teachers a striking opportunity to introduce one of the longest-running, revolutionary social movements in U.S. history: the struggle to expose the constitutional and human rights violations in Mumia’s case and to free Mumia.

Long Distance Revolutionary (LDR) specializes in presenting a view of Mumia’s journey and his revolutionary work, in the context of the movement’s historical genesis. It sets before us in an inspiring way, the current voices that guide the movement and advocate for him. Mumia is front and center in the film, but the focus is on this important political movement.

The film runs 2 hours long. We suggest, therefore, that when teaching it, that you first schedule an afternoon or evening showing, for class members or groups to simply experience the film. Then plan a “Next Day Discussion” of the film.

For further discussion of the legal particulars of the case, we recommend the film by Professor Johanna Fernandez, Justice on Trial, also featured on this EMAJ home page. If you have the time, pairing these two films is an excellent strategy, since LDR treats the movement as well as the case, and then Justice on Trial goes more deeply into the case particulars with powerful video testimonies and narrative.

Since LDR focuses on movements, teachers may wish to make the following books available to students (among others):

Mumia Abu-Jamal, We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party. South End Press.

Cedric J. Robinson, Black Movements in America. Revolutionary Thought/Radical Movements Series. Routlege Pub.

Rom Mertes, Movement of Movements: Is Another World Really Possible? Foreword by Walden Bello. Verso Books.

Frances Fox Piven, Poor People’s Movements: How They Succeed, Why They Fail. Vintage.

Sydney Tarrow, Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action, Politics. Cambridge University Press.

Charles Tilly and Leslie Wood, Social Movements, 1768-2012. Paradigm Publishers.

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