Winner 2014

POV: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

American Documentary | POV

This compelling documentary traces the development of an Asian-American philosopher, activist and writer, a charismatic though largely unknown woman whom Angela Davis once said “made more contributions to the black struggle than most black people have.” Grace Lee Boggs’ personal evolution began during the unstable, often violent Civil Rights era. Archival footage shows a fiery, younger Boggs who aggressively challenges her compatriots’ ideas, sometimes bringing them to tears. Boggs’ commitment to the American worker is illustrated by her love affair with the city of Detroit, the setting of much of the film. The filmmaker, the similarly named Grace Lee, does not shy away from Boggs’ roots as a Hegelian and Marxist philosopher. For Boggs, revolution always required reflection, and her growth as a thinker and activist continues into her 90s. In the present, we see her in her modest home, a mellowed but still curious and challenging older woman who, after a conversation with actor Danny Glover, gently sends him on his way with a stack of books about education. She remains active at the forefront of Detroit’s urban garden movement. For a nuanced documentary about a relentlessly reflective activist, demonstrating that personal evolution and political revolution are intimately connected, POV: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Simon Kilmurry, Cynthia López, Joan Huang. Producers: Grace Lee, Caroline Libresco, Austin Wilkin. Director: Grace Lee.