Watch Preview BANISHED Home Page

The Filmmaker

Marco Williams

From filmmaker Marco Williams:

I hope the film will lead to a national discussion and a referendum on reparations. This would be the greatest impact that I hope for the film.

I sincerely hope that the film will galvanize Americans to think about the concepts of reparations and reconciliation. I tried very consciously to make evident why the notion of reparations is to be considered and part of a national discussion. I would be grateful if audiences saw themselves in my documentary rather than viewing the movie and the people in it as though their experiences and words don’t either represent or reflect who we are as Americans. And if audiences don’t immediately see themselves on the screen, or someone that they know (even if the circumstances are different), then it is my hope that audiences will be shocked, angered, surprised and ultimately inspired to be part of effecting change.

Finally, I do hope that the film will be part of the material for building bridges across the forces that divide Americans and people throughout the world. I hope that the film compels viewers to recognize and respect any differences that they might have with others but for those differences not to become the source of division.

If we are to be truly great, we must find in ourselves the ability to forgive and to reconcile. I hope that BANISHED has this impact.

Read more in the filmmaker statement >>

His three favorite films:

The Times of Harvey Milk, Killer of Sheep, Open City and The Battle of Algiers.

His advice for aspiring filmmakers:

Just do it. Don’t wait for someone to tell you it is a good idea. Start to make your film if that is what you need to do. Also, writing is the key to the kingdom, and finally: don’t censor yourself; let others censor you.

His most inspirational food for making independent film:

Good food. Never skimp on a good meal during production. PERIOD.


Marco Williams

Marco Williams is an award-winning documentary and nominated fiction film director. His directing credits include Freedom Summer (2006), I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education (2004), MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream (2003), TWO TOWNS OF JASPER (2002), Making Peace; Rebuilding our Communities (1995), The Pursuit of Happiness: With Arianna Huffington (1994), Without A Pass (1992), In Search of Our Fathers (1991) and From Harlem To Harvard (1982).

His film awards include the Beacon Award, the National Association of Black Journalists First Place Salute to Excellence Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I duPont Silver Baton, the 2002 Pan African Film Festival Outstanding Documentary Award, the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival Silver Award for Best International Documentary, the 2002 DoubleTake/Full Frame grand prize, the Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award and the Independent Feature Project Third Annual Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Award. TWO TOWNS OF JASPER was broadcast on P.O.V. In Search of Our Fathers was broadcast on Frontline and featured in the 1992 Sundance Film Festival, the 1993 Berlin International Film Festival, the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1996 “Black Male Exhibition” and the 1993 Whitney Biennial, among others.

Williams received a B.A. from Harvard University in Visual and Environmental Studies, a M.A. from UCLA in Afro-American Studies and a M.F.A. from UCLA‘s Producer’s Program. He is the recipient of the Institute of American Cultures Research Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a Creative Artists Program grant.

—Marco Williams

Read about the making of BANISHED >>

View film credits >>

Home | The Families | The Places | Reparations | Behind the Scenes | Learn More | Get Involved | Talkback | Film Credits | Get the DVD | Site Credits Watch Preview BANISHED