Directed by Joel Katz
USA | 57 minutes | 2002
Joel Katz's mesmerizing Strange Fruit is a documentary essay exploring the history and legacy of a song unique in the annals of American music. Named in 1999 the "Song of the Millennium” by Time magazine, and best-known from Billie Holiday's haunting 1939 rendition, the song "Strange Fruit” is a harrowing portrayal of the lynching of a black man in the American South. Strange Fruit tells a dramatic story of America's past by using one of the most influential protest songs ever written as its epicenter. The saga brings us face-to-face with the terror of lynching as it spotlights the courage and heroism of those who fought for racial justice when to do so was to risk ostracism and livelihood if white — and death if black. It examines the history of lynching, and the interplay of race, labor, the left and popular culture that would give rise to the Civil Rights movement.
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||Dorothy Thigpen, Milton Gabler, Farah Jasmine Griffin