With All Deliberate Speed: The Legacy of Brown vs. Board (2004)
Directed by Hoop Dreams producer Peter Gilbert, With All Deliberate Speed is a reflection on the state of civil rights in America 50 years after the May 17, 1954, unanimous Supreme Court ruling stating that the doctrine of "separate but equal" was inconsistent with the constitution of the United States. This documentary offers a glance into the lives of the unsung heroes in the struggle for America's desegregation. A series of intimate interviews, eyewitness accounts, and unique original footage helps to illustrate the stories of the teachers, students, lawyers, and judges whose commitment would have a profound effect on African-Americans for decades to come. Among the film's participants are the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's son, Thurgood Marshall Jr., as well as the Reverend Joe Delaine, Barbara Johns, Vernon Jordan, and Julian Bond. … More
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Critic Reviews for With All Deliberate Speed: The Legacy of Brown vs. Board
All too ironically titled as it details in lethargic and sometimes convoluted fashion the stories of the many heroic and often unsung figures involved.
The struggle it illuminates may continue today, and for a while to come. The battle continues. But its first veterans command our immediate respect.
Gets most of its juice from listening to groups of people who were students and activists in segregated Clarendon County, S.C., and Prince Edward County, Va., during the years leading up to the case.
Few viewers are likely to learn much from the film about what the momentous court decision half a century ago was really all about, or how to meaningfully address the inequities that still plague our public schools.
The film's saddest contention is that five decades later American public schools remain economically segregated by economics, which too often produces classrooms whose complexions have changed little since the pre-Brown era.
It's a great concept -- but it's done in by an unfocused and uninspired presentation.
Speed doesn't boast much in the way of innovative storytelling. What it does offer is a story that still badly needs to be told.
The film is at its most quietly powerful ... when telling the story of a group of African-American high school kids who took their discontent to the highest court in the land.
It deserves a place alongside such other essential civil rights documentaries as Eyes on the Prize and Freedom on My Mind.
America moves imperfectly toward the goal of equality, but because of Brown vs. Board of Education, it moves.
Rather than merely chronicling the events leading up to the May 17, 1954, Supreme Court decision ... the film explores both its effect and ways in which it has fallen short in creating true equality.
Peter Gilbert's documentary tells the story leading up to the Supreme Court's historical 1954 decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case.
As a document of his history, it's breathtaking, inspiring stuff. As an overlong documentary, it still manages to be inspiring, but also an uphill viewing experience.
Gilbert's great achievement lies in his integration of disparate historical threads and voices into one steadily paced, riveting tale.
The events themselves, captured in vital newsreel footage of the period, speak volumes, as perhaps does their unfinished legacy.
While the filmmaker avoids a conventional episodic format driven by central characters in conflict, he hasn't created one that could keep a complex story clear.
Audience Reviews for With All Deliberate Speed: The Legacy of Brown vs. Board
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkgreen]"Baraka" is a mesmerizing cinematic essay that takes the viewer on a tour of the world; one that is wordless but set to music. It shows the amazing diversity of cultures from rural to urban; primitive to sophisticated and everything in between. This amazing documentary is almost constantly in motion; it occasionally takes a moment to record something at rest. [/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=navy]"With All Deliberate Speed" is a documentary made on the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education which struck down the doctrine of separate but equal established in Plessy v. Ferguson(1896) and ordered the desegregation of schools 'with all deliberate speed.' It looks at the events leading up to the momentous decision and also afterwards focusing on two of the five school districts named in the suit, Clarendon County, SC and Prince Edward County, Va. Clarendon County has fared the worse of the two districts and continues to fight in the courts for suitable education.(One of the reasons a quality public education is important is possibly allowing some of its poorer citizens to escape a perpetual cycle of poverty.) I already knew most of the history involved, so I would have liked it if this documentary had focused on more of the events following the decision, especially on the battle over busing in Boston in the 1970's to show that segregated schools are not simply a phenomenon of the South.[/color][/font]
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