Let the Fire Burn: MOVE Documentary

On the 33rd anniversary of the MOVE seige by Philadelphia police, we are screening this film to highlight this barbaric attack by the US on a black liberation organization.

Let the Fire Burn is composed entirely with archival footage yet unfurls with the tension of a thriller. The documentary recounts the steps that led to a horrific massacare on May 13, 1985, when a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and the revolutionary group MOVE came to a deadly climax.

After a daylong battle in which the police used teargas, firehoses, and ultimately 10,000 rounds of ammunition in an attempt to remove MOVE members from their fortified home, authorities order military-grade explosives to be dropped on the house from a helicopter. News 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 for a past in present tense approach, 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.

Saturday, May 12th