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Razor Wire, Prison Cells, and Black Panther Robert H. King’s Life of Resistance --An interview w/ filmmaker Ron Harpel

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RH:    I like to think that I make films for people who are between about 15 and 25. This is because I believe that this age group is the near future and they are still young enough to be open to new ideas.

I have been an activist for some time, but it was only when I started making films that I was able to see the kind of impact the medium can have. This is because films do not require effort on the part of the viewers, but, if the viewer is open to new ideas, they penetrate like no other medium.

Hard Time begins with some basic information about Robert King and the Angola 3 and ends with some statistics about incarceration in the United States. Connecting this basic information is a history lesson told by Robert King. His way of speaking combined with the archival footage and images I was able to find tell a compelling tale of the 1960s and the rise of Black Power. We do hear a bit about the brutality of prison, but this is mainly left to the imagination of the viewer because Hard Time is meant to be an inspirational film.

All of this is presented in a subtle manner so that the film can get under the radar of the censors who keep ideas out of schools and away from the young people I want to reach.

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A3N:    Any closing thoughts?

RH:    The film is available for free online but I hope that people will not watch it alone. It is important that individuals come together to discuss Robert King's story.

There are all sorts of lessons that can be learned and all sorts of possibilities for people to take collective action to make a change in our world. This film can and should be used to engage people in the A3 case and injustices everywhere.

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There is so much that needs to be done in so many communities. This is what Robert King learned while in prison and it is the lesson he shares with the world.

--Angola 3 News is a project of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Our website is http://www.angola3news.com where we provide the latest news about the Angola 3. We are also creating our own media projects, which spotlight the issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, and more.

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Over 40 years ago in Louisiana, 3 young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000-acre former slave plantation called Angola. In 1972 and (more...)

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