WHEN LIBERTY BURNS
ONLINE SCREENING | Juneteenth (June 19), 1 day only
Directed by: Dudley Alexis
Producer(s): Femi Folami-Browne, Dudley Alexis
United States | 111 min
Tickets $13 for the general public and $10 for Miami Film Festival members.
On Juneteenth 2020, Miami Film Festival presents an encore online screening of the 2020 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award winning film by documentary filmmaker Dudley Alexis – When Liberty Burns, an incredibly incisive and illuminating look into one of the seminal events, and tragedies, in modern Miami history.
On December 17, 1979, Arthur McDuffie failed to stop for a traffic light, and police officers gave chase. After realizing he could not escape, McDuffie surrendered. He was beaten until he lost consciousness, ultimately causing his death. The shocking acquittal of the offending officers charged in the murder sparked a civil disturbance in Miami’s urban core. The “McDuffie Riots” that followed in May 1980 caused the deaths of 18 people, millions of dollars in destruction, and became a symbol of the city’s struggle to contend with race relations and its sordid history during the Jim Crow era.
The documentary engages family members and friends of Arthur McDuffie, retired police officers, eye witnesses, historians and contemporary community activists in interviews and it chronicles McDuffie’s life and his rich relationships with his family and his community. It traces, with brilliant insight, the dynamics of race relations in the City as it manages increasingly diverse ethnic populations, growth and change. And yet, 40 years later, this seminal Miami reckoning is in danger of disappearing from public consciousness – something that Alexis’ timely and important film seeks to redress.
A portion of the revenue from online sales will be given to Historic Hampton House Community Trust.
A Facebook Live Panel will take place at 4pm on Juneteenth on Miami Film Festival’s Facebook channel, moderated by Festival Director Jaie Laplante. Featured panelists will be:
– Dudley Alexis, Miami independent filmmaker and visual artist; director of When Liberty Burns. He is also director of the feature film Liberty in a Soup.
– Dr. Marvin Dunn is a nationally respected scholar in race and ethnic relations. He is co-author of The Miami Riot of 1980: Crossing the Bounds with Bruce Porter, and author of Black Miami in the Twentieth Century, among other books. He is also a documentary filmmaker whose films include Black Seminoles in the Bahamas: The Red Bays Story.
– Branden Jones is a certified Educational instructor in the Miami Dade County Public School system and full-time Community activist. He is a member of the Circle of Brotherhood “Black Men Solving Their Community Problems.”
– Lonnie Lawrence is a retired former Major in the Dade County Sherriff’s Department and a veteran community organizer. Currently he is Board Chair of The Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community and Chair of The Citizen Advisory Committee for the Miami Gardens Police Department, among many other community positions.
This screening is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.