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25 Oct. 2013


LET THE FIRE BURN posterFound-footage documentary unfolds like thriller

Black Power group MOVE clashes with City of Philadelphia

Opens November 1, 2013 in Bay Area

Zeitgeist Films presents LET THE FIRE BURN, opening November 1, 2013 at Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco, and Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley.

In the astonishingly gripping LET THE FIRE BURN, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial Black Power group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “…let the fire burn.” Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.  Jason Osder is named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine July 2013.

“There have been many documentaries comprised entirely out of archival footage, but few as powerfully and masterfully structured as this one. Weaving together field news reports, a 70s documentary about MOVE, and recorded tapes of the subsequent public committee hearings and depositions that took place months after the incident, Osder creates a visually textured and fascinating piece of storytelling that steers clear of editorialization and manipulation by allowing the content to speak for itself.” – Zeba Blay, INDIEWIRE

“Has the force and intrigue of a courtroom thriller…ripples with urgency and moral complexity.” – SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

“This masterpiece about an astounding and forgotten moment in recent American history should be seen far and wide.” – FILMMAKER MAGAZINE

“Vivid and heartbreaking. Feels like it happened last week.” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Winner: Best Editing in a Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival 2013
Special Jury Mention: Best New Documentary Director, Tribeca Film Festival 2013

About the author

Sandra Varner has had her hands on the pulse of the entertainment industry and lifestyles coverage for decades, staying current, always.


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