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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.
Stephen Vittoria’s new feature documentary is an inspiring portrait of a man whom many consider America’s most famous political prisoner – a man whose existence tests our beliefs about freedom of expression. Through prison interviews, archival footage, and dramatic readings, and aided by a potent chorus of voices including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Amy Goodman and others, this riveting film explores Mumia’s life before, during and after Death Row – revealing, in the words of Angela Davis, “the most eloquent and most powerful opponent of the death penalty in the world…the 21st Century Frederick Douglass.”
What People Are Saying About Long Distance Revolutionary
“Solitary confinement is simply torture. It has been well known for a long time. It is savagery. Mass incarceration is an incredible crime. All of these things are a true international scandal. [Mumia’s] is a striking case, but it is far more general. Maximum security prisons in the United States are horrendous. They make Guantanamo look like a vacation resort.” — Noam Chomsky
“Prison and government officials are trying to censor and silence Mumia Abu-Jamal. I stand as one of many Americans who believe that there is tremendous value in his voice being heard.” — Susan Sarandon
“If Mumia Abu-Jamal has nothing important to say, why are so many powerful people trying to kill him and shut him up?” —John Edgar Wideman, Professor, Brown University
“A prophetic writer. Mumia refuses to allow his sprit to be broken by the forces of injustice; his language glows with an affirming flame.” — Jonathan Kozol, Educator
“Mumia is a dramatic example of how the criminal justice system can be brought to bear on someone who is African-American, articulate, and involved in change in society. The system is threatened by someone like Mumia. A voice as strong and as truthful as his–the repression against him is intensified.” — Sister Helen Prejean
“We join with Amnesty International in demanding a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal. We will not allow his voice to be silenced.” — Tom Morello, Street Sweeper Social Club
“The first time I heard a tape of Mumia’s radio broadcasts, it was the first time I fully understood why the government was so intent on putting him to death.” — Assata Shakur, former member of The Black Panther Party
“Mumia Abu-Jamal offers us an important gift of insight and analysis and we must treasure it.” — Susan L. Taylor, Editor in Chief Emeritus, Essence Magazine
“Uncompromising, disturbing…Abu-Jamal’s voice has the clarity and candor of a man whose impending death emboldens him to say what is on his mind without fear of consequence.” — The Boston Globe
“Abu-Jamal’s words flow like the sap of trees, pulsing with energy and capturing the essence of life.” — Library Journal
“An incisive critic of our criminal justice system…a rare and courageous voice.” — Martin Sheen
About Mumia Abu-Jamal
Abu-Jamal obtained his GED in prison in July of 1992; he earned his BA from Goddard College in January of 1996; he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the New College of California in May of 1996; in 1999, he earned a masters of arts degree from California State University Dominguez Hills with a major in humanities history and a minor in African-American literature.
His books are all in print, and include bestsellers. They have been translated into more than seven languages including French, Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Mumia Abu-Jamal has written and broadcasted more than 2,000 essays from prison, including commencement addresses and lectures. He is currently serving a life sentence without parole at the State Correctional Institute at Mahanoy in Frackville, Pennsylvania.
About the Filmmakers
Stephen Vittoria (Writer, Director, Producer, Editor)
Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary is Stephen Vittoria’s current documentary and it opens in theatres this fall. His last film, One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern won top honors at the Sarasota Film Festival as “Best Documentary Feature” and was released nationwide by First Run Features. In 1987, Vittoria wrote, directed, and edited his first film, the dramatic feature Black & White, starring Kim Delgado and Frank Vincent — a story about racism set against the backdrop of post-World War II America. In 1995, Vittoria produced, wrote, and directed Hollywood Boulevard, starring John C. McGinley, Jon Tenney, and Julianne Phillips — a dark and satirical look at the motion picture business.
In 1998, Vittoria wrote, directed, and edited the six-hour health documentary Save Your Life — The Life and Holistic Times of Dr. Richard Schulze, and then in 2005 he wrote, directed, and edited the television documentary Keeper of the Flame with journalist Linda Ellerbee and actor Wilford Brimley — a film that deals with the current ecological crisis facing American forests.
Recently, Vittoria was a producer on two feature documentaries by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney: Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Magic Trip. Vittoria is the founder and creative director of two Southern California production companies — Street Legal Cinema and Deep Image. One day, Steve hopes to play centerfield for the New York Yankees. He lives in Los Angeles (under protest).
Katyana Farzanrad (Producer)
Katy is a producer and director who divides her time between documentaries, narratives, industrials, and web series. Most recently, she has been story producing in reality television. Katy holds a BA from the University of Florida in Theater and an MFA in Cinema and Television from the University of Southern California.
Noelle Hanrahan (Producer)
Noelle discovered Mumia’s voice in prison when she recorded him on death row at Huntingdon State Prison in July of 1992. These recording sessions inspired the controversial censored series on National Public Radio as well as Abu-Jamal’s first bestseller, Live From Death Row. She has continued to amplify his voice for more than twenty years. She is an investigative journalist, private investigator, and director of Prison Radio. Noelle has edited Abu-Jamal’s books Jailhouse Lawyers and All Things Censored, produced three of his audio CDs, and continues to produce and distribute his weekly radio commentaries and speeches (over 2000 have been recorded) to a worldwide audience. Ms. Hanrahan is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A).
Cornel West: Philosopher, author, civil rights activist, and professor at the Union Theological Seminary
Alice Walker: Pulitzer Prize winning author, poet, and civil rights activist
Angela Davis: Professor, scholar, author, and political activist
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter: Former middleweight boxer and former Executive Director of the “Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted”
Ruby Dee: Actress, poet, journalist, and activist
Giancarlo Esposito: Actor and director
Peter Coyote: Actor, author, director, and screenwriter
Dick Gregory: Author, comedian, and social activist
Amy Goodman: Author, journalist, investigative reporter, and host of Democracy Now!
Tariq Ali: Novelist, journalist, filmmaker, and historian
M-1 aka Mutulu Olugbala: Rapper (Dead Prez), author, and activist
Aya De Leon: Professor, writer, poet, and spoken word artist
Michael Parenti: Author and historian
Ramona Africa: Minister of Communication, MOVE
Dave Zirin: Author and sports journalist
Johanna Fernandez: Author and professor at Baruch College, City University of New York
Ramsey Clark:Former US Attorney General and activist
Michelle Alexander: Author and professor of law at Ohio State University; Author of “The New Jim Crow”
Juan Gonzalez: Columnist for the New York Daily News, journalist, investigative reporter, and co-host of Democracy Now!
Jerry Quickley: Journalist and performance poet
Emory Douglas: Artist and former member of The Black Panther PartyClick here for reuse options!
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