Bone-chilling is what came to mind as I watched The Last White Knight. Racism is alive and well, but it is still stunning to see three KKK members dressed in full regalia—giving their names, but not showing their faces—talking about the Invisible Empire of police officers, local officials and others who continue to believe that African-Americans were “created to be servants.” The film is essentially a conversation between Paul Saltzman, filmmaker and former Freedom Rider, and Delay de la Beckwith, son of Byron de la Beckwith, the man who claimed credit for killing Medgar Evers in 1963, interspersed with comments from Harry Belafonte, Morgan Freeman and other Civil Rights activists. Set in Mississippi, the film includes beautiful scenic shots of kudzu covered forests, but as Belafonte notes, he doesn’t “feel safe here—the Devil is just pausing.”
Pablo follows the rise and fall, rise and fall, and rise and fall . . . of Pablo Ferro, the artist and innovator behind the opening credits of some of the best known movies of the last 60 years. Cuban by birth, the Ferro family immigrated to the United States when Pablo was a teenager. A self-taught artist and animator, he began working in comic books moving on to commercials. With the never-before use of quick-cut imagery, he transformed ads from stodgy to entertaining and memorable. In interviews with Ferro, friends and film folk, appealing animation, and clips from his work, “Pablo” presents a portrait of an endearing and creative eccentric—in his ubiquitous red scarf.
It is so painful to relive that day in October 1991, when Anita Hill was grilled for nine hours by the Senate Judiciary Committee as she gave testimony about the sexual misconduct of the man who was about to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. But she did it with grace and dignity, as Freida Mock shows in the excellent documentary, Anita. With the support of her large family, colleagues and students, Hill weathered the storm and ultimately transformed the workplace for women. We believe Anita!
So, at the end of the day, it’s a solid “A” for each of these three films.