In the Land of the Free: The Angola 3 Film in The Guardian

From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King

Robert Hillary King was in London for the premier of In the Land of the Free…, a new documentary on the case of the Angola 3 and an important new piece in the campaign to free Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace who have now been held in solitary confinement for thirty-seven years.

The Brixton debut of the film was presented by Brightwide as part of the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Directed by Vadim Jean, here is more from The Guardian:

“The case of the Angola three first came to international attention following the campaigning efforts of the Body Shop founder and humanitarian Anita Roddick. Roddick heard about their plight from a young lawyer named Scott Fleming…”I was born in 1973,” he says. “I often think that for my entire life they have been in solitary.”

Through Fleming, Roddick met King and then Woodfox in Angola. Their story, she said later, “made my blood run cold in my veins”. Until her death in 2007 Roddick was a committed and passionate supporter of their cause. At her memorial service King played two taped messages from Wallace and Woodfox. In the congregation was film-maker Vadim Jean who had become good friends with Roddick and her husband Gordon during an earlier film project. “Anita’s big thing was, ‘Just do something,'” says Jean. “No matter how small an act of kindness. Listening to Herman and Albert’s voices at her memorial was like having Anita’s finger pointing at me and saying, ‘Just do something’.” And so he decided to make In the Land of the Free, a searing documentary, released later this month.”

Among those present to raise awareness of the Angola 3 campaign were Colin and Livia Firth, Bianca Jagger, Gordon Roddick, and director Vadim Jean:

Ben Siegle, Davide Nardi, Kofo Nolla, Paola De Leo, Gordon Roddick, Bianca Jagger, Colin Firth, Livia Firth, Robert King, Vadim jean, Luc Martinon
Brightwide Photographer: Ambra Vernuccio

And more praise from the London Evening Standard

“There are two and a half million people in American prisons, 25,000 of them held in solitary confinement. The plight of Wallace and Woodfox — and of Robert King, in solitary at Angola for 29 years and now released — is the subject of this year’s best documentary film, In the Land of the Free, which shows the cases of the Angola 3 to have been a horrible series of miscarriages.” 

Colin Firth, Kofo Nolla, Paola De Leo, Robert King, Livia Firth
Brightwide Photographer: Ambra Vernuccio

And finally, here’s King with two of the ladies who have been working tirelessly on the Free the Angola 3 Campaign and an essential part of bringing this whole thing together, Nina Kowalska and Jackie Sumell

Jackie Summell, Robert King, and Nina Kowalska
Brightwide Photographer: Ambra Vernuccio

Our thanks to all the wonderful people who helped with these events, and all those working to free Herman and Albert. For more info on the campaign check out, and stay tuned for the movie launch in the states!

About In the Land of the Free…

Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King spent almost a century between them in solitary confinement in Angola, the Louisiana State penitentiary. They are known as the Angola 3.

Herman and Albert are still in solitary confinement after thirty seven years. How could this be? In America. Today. See this film because thgey can’t

In the Land of the Free… is a documentary feature narrated by Samuel L Jackson that examines the story of these extraordinary men who appear to have been targeted by the prison authorities for being members of the Black Panther party and because they fought against the terrible conditions and systematic sexual slavery that was rife in the prison.

The film is directed by Vadim Jean (Leon the Pig Farmer, Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather) produced by the Mob film company (Terry Pratchett’s Colour of Magic, Stone of Destiny) Gold Circle Films (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, White Noise, A Haunting in Connecticut) and UKTV’s Yesterday films.

For history of the Angola 3 and the legal cases please visit the History / Facts / Latest Campaign News page on this website

Check out the trailer, and stay tuned to find out when the film is hitting the states:

About Brightwide

Brightwide launched in February 2010 as an online festival for social and Political film. Founded by Colin Firth and wife Livia, Brightwide was inspired by the realisation that great films with issues at their heart have a unique ability to mobilise outrage and activist energy, an energy that too quickly dissipates after the credits have rolled. By linking people to causes through award winning, powerful films, including some of the best documentaries, fiction and docudrama features selected for major film festivals, and by directly providing online audiences with relevant opportunities to act and engage after the film has been streamed, Brightwide screens films that will make audiences want to change the world, and then shows them how. With specially commissioned reviews and articles from well known personalities and expert commentators, and research materials from our NGO partners, Brightwide provides an enviromnent rich with high quality content that will inspire effective community driven activism and engagement.

Developed in official partnership with UK NGOs Oxfam, WWF and Amnesty International, and supported by the EU Media Programme, Brightwide will build awareness among new and younger audiences of the significant issues at the heart of each film we stream on the website, and through our NGO partners, will work with these audiences to find ways to effect lasting change.

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