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Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary (2013)


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 4.5/5
User Ratings: 265


Movie Info

Before he was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1981 and sentenced to die, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a gifted journalist and brilliant writer. Now after more than 30 years in prison and despite attempts to silence him, Mumia is not only still alive but continuing to report, educate, provoke and inspire. (c) First Run

Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
Stephen Vittoria
In Theaters:
Box Office:
First Run Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (8)

More of a tribute than a hard-hitting piece of American filmmaking, which is too bad, because the subject - the imprisonment of ex-Black Panther figure Mumia Abu-Jamal - deserves a thorough, serious examination.

Full Review… | August 22, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Director Stephen Vittoria lines up a roster of writers and educators, actors and activists, to sing Abu-Jamal's praise. And praise they do.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A film that would let us decide the pros and cons of his life for ourselves would certainly be welcome.

Full Review… | February 28, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

"Mumia" gradually becomes a persuasive attempt to celebrate the content of his character, not the violence that apparently led to his imprisonment.

Full Review… | February 21, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Vittoria avoids discussing the crime for which Abu-Jamal spent 29 years in solitary confinement on death row, instead tracing the path of a brilliant journalist whose message cannot be silenced.

Full Review… | February 1, 2013
Top Critic

The doc is unapologetically one-sided, and spends more time canonizing Abu-Jamal than exploring the murder and trial themselves.

Full Review… | February 1, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

You don't have to agree with Abu-Jamal's politics to admire his work ethic-or his eloquence.

Full Review… | November 16, 2013
Leonard Maltin's Picks

Long Distance Revolutionary is a blistering indictment of institutionalized racism and also a sensitive picture of a fascinating human being.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013

This tiresome documentary on activist journalist and convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal buries its subject under waves of gratingly repetitive accolades.

Full Review… | February 1, 2013
Film Journal International

A documentary charting the extraordinary life and work of Mumia Abu-Jamal from his prison cell over the last 30 years.

Full Review… | January 31, 2013
Spirituality and Practice

Purports to tell the true story of the titular imprisoned, controversially outspoken death-penalty opponent, but eventually degenerates into an orgy of congratulation.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
Slant Magazine

A reverential biopic that wisely leaves the damning evidence on the back burner in favor of focusing on everything about Mumia Abu-Jamal except what exactly transpired at the corner of 13th and Locust in the wee hours of December 9, 1981.

Full Review… | January 21, 2013

Audience Reviews for Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary


I remember hearing about the case of Mumia Abu Jamal, ne Wesley Cook, who was convicted of murdering a Philadelphia policeman in 1981, when I was in college but without any details at the time had no true sense who he is or what he is about. That was true until this illuminating, yet occasionally repetitive, documentary that traces his story, with his first political education coming at the boot heel of a cop. His path as an independent journalist begins as a teenager as a Black Panther and later a radio journalist for NPR, covering various issues including police brutality, with his mellifluous voice on full display here. That even continues behind bars where in the tradition of other jailhouse writers continues to speak out.(As far as a personal life goes, it is more along the lines, oh by the way, he has kids.) Whether he is a true political prisoner is up for debate. What is not is the brutal and racist police of Philadephia's past, making a circumstantial case that he was railroaded. In a city which bombed its own citizens in 1985, I would have to say anything is possible.

In general terms, "Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary" refreshingly does not shy away from radical politics, instead embracing them wholeheartedly in discussing the racism and by proxy the prison industrial complex in the United States, with a focus on the MOVE organization in Philadelphia. However, we have all been to the lecture on the corporatization in media. Even then, hearing Cornel West saying that Kenny G. is to John Coltrane, as Oprah Winfrey is to Mumia Abu Jamal is priceless.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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