It’s a weird Fourth of July this year. For most of us, there are no gatherings, no BBQ’s, not even fireworks. Disney Plus has given us the gift of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton to remind us of what we once were only a few years ago.
But there’s another film we should also be watching. Magnolia Pictures released the documentary on the life of Rep. John Lewis, Good Trouble, on July 3rd, and it’s riveting in a low key way that I didn’t expect. In case you were unaware, John Lewis is the 80 year-old Congressman from Georgia who is the only surviving freedom fighter from the Selma freedom marches of 1965.
The documentary shows his very humble beginnings as a young boy preaching to the chickens in his Georgia home and how he became active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and has worked relentlessly to make change over the years. Using interviews and rare archival footage, the film chronicles Lewis' 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, the documentary begins with his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957 and continues with interviews with Lewis and his family, political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.
The documentary is available to stream and on demand.