(AllHipHop News) In a recent interview with Lifeandtimes.com, director Stephen Vittoria spoke about his revealing new Mumia Abu-Jamal documentary Long Distance Revolutionary.
While countless other films, books, articles, and essays have been created about the imprisoned former Black Panther member’s arrest, trial, and appeal of the alleged killing of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, Vittoria’s new film focuses on Abu-Jamal’s career as a journalist.
“I had been inspired by Mumia’s writings and his broadcasts for many years,” stated Vittoria. “Mumia’s story always intrigued me because of his commitment to peace and justice and freedom from inside [prison] where harsh and draconian pieces of the American empire really inspired me to tell the complete story.”
Prior to his arrest for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner, Abu-Jamal was a rising writer and radio journalist, eventually becoming president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He was known for his outspoken revolutionary activism and for promoting the black liberation group MOVE.
His murder trial and subsequent imprisonment has been under question for over 30 years. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Amnesty International, the Congressional Black Caucus, and numerous other advocates and organizations from around the world have pushed for Abu-Jamal to receive a new trial.
Vittoria’s documentary intends to shine a light on Mumia as a historian, not as a prisoner.
“I’ve watched [Abu-Jamal's] writing really increase from writing about what he knows to writing about what he’s learned and what he feels, very much like a Howard Zinn type of historian,” shared Vittoria.
The film features famous names like Cornel West, Angela Davis, Dick Gregory, and M-1 of rap group dead prez, as well as a cast of children and other actors reading excerpts from Mumia’s writings and the writings of people who inspired him.
For information about Long Distance Revolutionary visit www.mumia-themovie.com
Watch the trailer of the film below.