Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Stephen Vittoria
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 11, 2013
Box Office: $35.8k
First Run Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (10)

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

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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