Let Freedom Sing is a 2009 DVD documentary that surveys the American civil rights struggle. That’s been done before, certainly. But this film puts a unique, refreshing and fascinating spin on the story by setting it against the backdrop of music. The film’s subtitle (How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement) says it all. From early sharecropper sing-alongs to Billie Holiday sides to 70s funk to Chuck D, Let Freedom Sing does an admirable job of covering both the civil rights struggle (up to this point, ‘cos, let’s face it: the struggle continues) and the music. In its roughly 100 minutes, the film hits the high points, manages to involve the viewer emotionally, and leaves the viewer wanting more.
Luckily (and not at all coincidentally) there’s also a 3CD set of music available. Not strictly a companion piece, the Let Freedom Sing CD package (reviewed here) is enjoyable on its own terms, as is this video.