Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In many ways, the biography of Harry Belafonte (b. 1927) is also the story of the struggle for social, racial, and civil justice in America (and in many parts of the world) over the past 60 years. The film bookends a conversation with Belafonte as he walks through the apartment in New York's Harlem his family occupied when he was a child and over the course of 100 minutes pre-sents the cultural background of Belafonte's childhood, describes his artistic and political development, and touches upon some of the seminal events of our time: marching in the South with Martin Luther King Jr. while battling the red scare in the 1950s, the March on Washington in the early 1960s, USA for Africa and antiapartheid protests and support of Nelson Mandela in the 1980s, efforts in Haiti in the early 1990s, and, most recently, attempts at reengineering our social and political future through his interactions with youth in America. Belafonte appears almost Zelig-like with the key figures in his life. In reality, he was an active, driven supporter of causes-if not the catalyst-who risked family, security, and safety in pursuit of justice and a better future for all. Belafonte is a terrific subject, hugely talented and highly thoughtful, and this is a fabulous, informative, and inspiring film. Wonderful performances are superbly integrated with home movies and interviews with friends like Sidney Poitier and predominant political figures in the artist's life. Bonus features include additional interviews and full-length performances. VERDICT An excellent biography and a primer on key moments in the social and political history of an American generation, this film is highly recommended for all viewers.-Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.