Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement

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Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement
Julian Bond by Eduardo Montes-Bradley
Directed by Eduardo Montes-Bradley
Produced by Heritage Film Project
Written by Eduardo Montes-Bradley
Starring Julian Bond
Music by Various
Distributed by Alexander Street Press
Release date
  • October 2012 (2012-10)
Running time
30 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement is a documentary film by Eduardo Montes-Bradley for Heritage Film Project,[1] a portrait of social activist and former Georgia legislator Julian Bond.[2] In the film Bond approaches the Civil Rights Movement from a personal perspective. "Bond's father was the first African-American president of Pennsylvania's Lincoln University, and the family hosted black luminaries in education and the arts, but Bond recalls growing up in the era of "separate but equal" laws".[3] Bond also talks about his early involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), his nomination at the age of 28 for vice president of the United States, and the Georgia legislature's efforts to prevent him from being seated as a representative on the grounds that he had not supported the Vietnam War. The film explores the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., the assassinations of King and John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson's impact on U.S. race relations. Bond also offers his own insights, and adds some personal revelations, such as the fact that he was a published poet during his college years. The film closes with a montage of major African-American figures from Frederick Douglass and Karl Marx, to Abraham Lincoln and Spike Lee. Julian Bond, premiered at the Virginia Film Festival on November 4, 2012.[4][5][6][7]


The film is built around an in-depth interview with Julian Bond, by Eduardo Montes-Bradley at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C., along with the last few lectures that he delivered, as a member of faculty, at the University of Virginia in May 2012. The interviews are bolstered by a barrage of photographs and archival footage taken from different sources. These images help define and illustrate the different historical eras beginning with the American Civil War and running up to the 2008 US presidential election.[8]

Through interviews and archival footage, the film documents Bond's life and, in particular, the role he played in the civil rights movement.[9] The first part of the film concentrates on the historical factors that led to the March On Washington in August 28, 1963. These factors are brought to light through the telling of the sagas of Bond's grandfather, James Bond—a man born in slavery who went on to graduate from Berea College and Oberlin College—and Jane Arthur Bond, Julian's great-grandmother. Julian's father, Horace Mann Bond, one-time president of Lincoln College in Pennsylvania, is also featured. The family-centered segment of the film is illustrated with photos from the Bond family albums that were loaned to the producers by members of the Bond family.

The second act begins with the March on Washington and Bond's entrance into politics at age 23, and concludes with his manifest opposition to the Vietnam War.

The conclusion of the film begins by showing Bond's formal acceptance as an elected representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, after finally winning a three-year court battle against the legislative body that had originally refused him his seat due to positions he had taken on issues relating to the Vietnam War. This is followed by segments that show Bond's nomination for Vice President of the United States at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; his failed attempt to obtain the nomination for the presidency in 1976; and a succession of events leading to the 2008 presidential election when Barack Obama became the first African American president of the United States.

According to Giles Morris of the C-Ville weekly, the gems of the film are the "off-guard moments" when Julian Bond explains to Montes-Bradley how Jim Crow was perceived by a child in the early 1950s: "I knew this was a condition. I couldn't understand who made it happen, who was in charge of it, what it really meant, but I knew there was a difference between myself and the other people I saw whose skin was not the same color," Bond says.[10]

Filming locations

The principal interviews with Bond used in the film were conducted at Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington D.C., and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Additional filming was done at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.[11][12]

Film screenings and awards

  • 4th Annual Baltimore International Black Film Festival. Award: Best Documentary. October 5, 2017.
  • British Academy Screening | May, 2016. Civil Rights Documentary Cinema and the 1960s : Transatlantic Conversations on History, Race and Rights[13][14]
  • The Film Festival at Little Washington | April, 2016 [15]
  • Southampton African American Film Festival | October, 2015 [16]
  • Virginia Film Festival. Premiered on November 4, 2012 at Nau Auditorium on the campus of the University of Virginia.[17]
  • "A Living Legend: The University of Virginia Honors Julian Bond," Hosted by the Office for Diversity and Equity, the Office of Engagement and the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. January 30, 2013 at The Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, VA.[18][19]
  • The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library | The Crozet Library. February 27, 2014. Black History Month - Special guest Julian Bond and director Eduardo Montes-Bradley.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Schudel, Matt "Julian Bond, charismatic civil rights figure, dies at 75". Washington Post. August 16, 2015
  2. ^ Finn, Clayton"The Price of a Sexual Politics of Respectability: W. E. B. Du Bois, Racial Uplift, and the Harlem Renaissance" The American Papers. The American Studies Student Association California State University, Fullerton.
  3. ^ Puffer-Rothenberg, M | Video Librarian. Film review. September 2013. USA
  4. ^ "Les boîtes ouvertes de l'Amérique numérique. Aveux d'un documentariste indocile" Revue Annuelle de L'association Rencontres Cinémas D'Amerique Latine de Toulouse. Toulouse, France. Issue Number 21. p. 171
  5. ^ Filmmakers Library. Fall Catalogue 2012. New Releases.
  6. ^ "Film Festival Announces Partial Lineup". The Daily Progress. Charlottesville, VA. October 3, 2012. p. 6
  7. ^ Revolutionary: How to film upheaval. The Hook. Charlottesville. October 3, 2012
  8. ^ Producers Official Website: Heritage Film Project
  9. ^ Graham Moomaw. "Documentary on Julian Bond helps wind down film festival" The Daily Progress. November 4, 2012
  10. ^ Morris, Giles. "Local filmmaker takes on the civil rights struggle from a foreign perspective" C-Ville Weekly, November 1, 2012. p. 18
  11. ^ Julian Bond (Movie) Official Facebook Page.
  12. ^ Julian Bond on IMDb
  13. ^ British Academy Screening, May 2016
  14. ^ The Voice. London. Wednesday, May 11, 2016
  15. ^ The Film festival at Little Washington, 2016. Official Site
  16. ^ Wenzel, Ty, "African-American Film Festival Transcends Race" The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press | September 22, 2015
  17. ^ Virginia Film Festival. Film Guide.
  18. ^ Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau's web site Archived 2013-01-06 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ YouTube 2013 | Julian Bond honored at the Paramount by the University of Virginia on January 30, 2013. Guests at the event also enjoyed the screening of local filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley's documentary. [1]
  20. ^ NEWSPLEX CBS News "Documentary Screening Gives Firsthand Account”

External links

  • Heritage Film Project
  • Alexander Street Press
  • Filmakers Library Official Site
  • Virginia Film Festival Online Program
  • The Hook
  • C-Ville, Charlottesville, VA.
  • Julian Bond on IMDb
  • Amazon.com | Public Performance Rights
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