So much of what accounts for retrospective biographies today involves interview snippets of current celebrities, educators, or politicians reflecting back on the moments of yesteryear; thankfully, this presentation sidesteps that format directly and, instead, embraces elements of the time. In fact, much of the video and audio segments presented in MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES have never (you read that right: NEVER) been presented outside of Memphis , where the fateful assassination took place.
Note to Hollywood : as a student of history, I really could care less what the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. meant to Whoopi Goldberg, Walter Cronkite, or even Soupy Sales, for that matter. When I’m looking to learn, I want to learn f-a-c-t-s, and this Smithsonian Channel presentation gets it right: it sticks to the facts – backs them up with a respectful documentary format – and lets the viewer l-e-a-r-n about what happened, not force some awful and unnecessary ideology down one’s throat. Gimme the facts, ma’am, and, on that front, TAPES excels.
MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES comes from Inception Media Group & the Smithsonian Channel, with distribution being handled by Inception. It looks and sounds about as well as it can for archival footage – picture quality is solid, though some of it appears a bit ‘stretched’ in order to accommodate the 16x9 ratio of the presentation. There are no special features to speak of, but none are needed: what matters here is the history – the recitation of the peoples, places, and events that transpired over these fateful days.
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Back when I was an urchin in school, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. was often times given short shrift – at best, it warranted a mention, but we were never educated in great detail, and we certainly weren’t given the greater historical context of the events surrounding it. For that reason alone, I found MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES to be a solid primer on the subject – it didn’t go into any great depth, but, rather, focused on a concise summary of these events, all backed up with audio and video from the era. I probably learned more about MLK in this 46 minutes than I ever did in school, so much so that I’d definitely be interested to pick up a book or two to explore even more of it today.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Inception Media Group, LLC provided me with a DVD screener copy of MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
What did you think of this review?