Grace Lee Boggs, 98, is a Chinese American philosopher, writer and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times. Winner, Audience Award, Best Documentary Feature, 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC).
“I first met Grace Lee Boggs in 2000 while filming The Grace Lee Project, a documentary about the many women who share our common name and the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans,” says filmmaker Grace Lee. “From the moment I met Boggs, I knew I would have to make a longer film just about her. Over the years, I would return to Detroit, hang out in her kitchen and living room and watch her hold in thrall everyone from journalists to renowned activists to high school students. I recognized the same thing in myself that I saw in all of them — eagerness to connect with someone who seemed to embody history itself.”
Watch video of Grace Lee Boggs that you won’t see in the documentary, including a discussion with Angela Davis about re-imagining revolution, social justice and philosophy, and with POV about the responsibility of the media today and the evolution of revolution. And watch an extended interview with filmmaker Grace Lee.
After the broadcast, visit the American Revolutionary companion site to watch the full film online for free before July 30, 2014, explore the books and writings that inspired Grace Lee Boggs’ activism, download a discussion guide and other viewing resources, and ask the filmmaker about the film in a “social screening” with other viewers on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 (the day after broadcast) from 7 PM to 9 PM ET (4-6 PM PT). Share your thoughts and ask questions by using the hashtag #americanrevolutionary.
“An entertainingly revealing portrait of a remarkable woman. . . . In an era in which social activism is far too often derided, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs represents a deeply moving examination of the power of a single individual to effect change.” — Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
And watch American Revolutionary on your TV or laptop and enter for a chance to win the DVD and film poster, plus popcorn, chocolate, coffee and more! Enter now at pov.org/premiereparty.
American Revolutionary premieres Monday, June 30, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.)