Released in tandem with Harry Belafonte's memoir, My Song, this fascinating 2011 documentary about the entertainer, activist, and humanitarian can hardly be called objective: it was produced by his daughter Gina, includes his own scripted voice-over narration, and skips over recent statements that have landed him in hot water (labeling President Bush a terrorist, referring to Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as "house slaves"). That's a shame, because Belafonte's capacity for righteous anger, though inconsistent with his easygoing musical persona, goes a long way toward explaining his unflagging commitment to social justice over the past 60 years. The documentary reminds one of what a sensation Belafonte was in the 1950s and what personal and professional courage he demonstrated during the civil rights era (his expedition to Mississippi in 1964, immediately after three activists were murdered there, is only one example). But a truly dimensional portrait of this American firebrand may not emerge until someone else gets to sing his song. Susanne Rostock directed.
Director: Susanne Rostock
Producer: Gina Belafonte, Jim Brown, Michael Cohl, William Eigen and Julius R. Nasso