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The American Experience - Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind (2001)

Carl Lumbly , Carlos Coombs , Stanley Nelson  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Price: $19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The American Experience - Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind + Marcus Garvey: Giant of Black + Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Carl Lumbly, Carlos Coombs, Brittany Cooper, Webley Dickenson, Sandra Dickinson
  • Directors: Stanley Nelson
  • Writers: Marcia Smith
  • Producers: Gwendolyn Dixon, James E. Dunford, Margaret Drain, Mark Samels, Maxine F. Walters
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005TPCH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,181 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The American Experience - Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Visionary yet enigmatic, brilliant yet manipulative, Marcus Garvey is one of the most controversial figures in American history. Both a powerful orator and a pompous autocrat, Garvey inspired the loyalty of millions of African-Americans while infuriating many black leaders. He was a strong advocate of black self-help, yet was willing to collaborate with the Ku Klux Klan. He inspired African-Americans to support his economic enterprises, then lost their hard-earned money through mismanagement. This film uses a wealth of archival footage, photographs and documents to uncover the story of this Jamaican immigrant who between 1916 and 1921 built what was the largest black mass movement in world history.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Factual innaccuracies and slanderous statements August 16, 2003
By A Customer
My two major areas of criticism are (1) Factual inaccuracies and slanderous statements without even attempting to substantiate them and (2) The absence of any in-depth analysis of what Marcus Garvey stood for or was trying to do.
I will attempt to deal with some of the former that I consider to be of major importance.
(1) The early incident of Marcus Garvey being left in the grave is dramatized and the statement is made that his father was teaching him `Never to rely on anyone'. The incident is factual, but the reason given to me by my mother is that my grandfather was teaching Marcus not to be afraid of anything!
It may seem initially like a small difference, but it sets the stage for later gratuitous statements that Marcus Garvey was always alone, never confided in anyone, did not take advice and was dictatorial.
So right from the beginning we have psychodrama and psychohistory.
Incidentally the technique of leaving someone in a graveyard for an extended period of time is a well-known Tibetan Buddhist practice, used for centuries to test an initiate's fearlessness and stability of mind.
(2) Statements that Amy Ashwood was the cofounder of the UNIA is an exaggeration in that Marcus Garvey returned from England to Jamaica on July 15th 1914 and within 5 days founded the UNIA.
It is unlikely that a 17-year-old girl had the vision to be anything more than an early member.
It is said that Amy Ashwood's mother did not consider Marcus Garvey the right type of person for her daughter to date, as he did not have a solid income. Well at this point he was a world traveler, a master printer, a journalist and the founder of an organization that had her daughter as one of fifteen members of the "board of management".
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars -1 stars = Not the best "American Experience" December 26, 2003
Usually, American Experience can counted on to present intensely fact-based documentaries. This one does not fit the ususal mode of American Experience product. Apparently, Frankthek didn't read the other reviews. One is from Julius Garvey, MD son of Marcus Garvey. That review led me to realize that there was more to the story. I went and did my own research. It seems that there is a great deal of bias in the documentary. The documentary doesn't begin where Garvey's life begins and it doesn't end where it ends. But it seems to want to impress upon you that it does. Nowhere are there facts presented for the viewer to make their own determination. That's why i watch American experience so much. Normally they present the facts, without so much as a critique. In my own research I confirmed some of what Dr. Garvey says in his review. The fraud trial originally ended in a hung jury, a fact left out of the documentary. Garvey met up with an expert elocutionist in Henrietta Vinton Davis, who may have been more influential on him than Billy Sunday. Garvey's second wife, Amy Jacques Garvey was from a well-to-do Jamaican family. Garvey finished his days in London, England; a plaque marks the house where he lived. He was interred in a crypt in England; and his body was brought back to Jamaica in the 60's. This was a very significant time in world history. Africa was getting its independence, the civil rights movement was taking off. Martin Luther King even laid a wreath at Garvey's mausoleum during a vacation in Jamaica. I watched this with a few other people and the consensus was the same. It is not the usual standard for American Experience. So many contradictory statements and so little facts. If anything this documentary will inspire others to go do their own research to get the real facts like I did.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was pretty good myself December 30, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a historian by profession. I did my senior thesis on the Garvey movement during my college days.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent documentary. The DVD is particularly good as it expounds upon things like Malcolm X's parents' role in the Garvey movement, J. Edgar Hoover's vendetta against Garvey, and it contains two complete speeches from Garvey recorded in 1921, the latter of which states the goals of his UNIA.
As for the controversy, one should not expect a serious documentary aimed for adults to show a historical figure as an idealized, angelic being with no human flaws. Let's face it, Garvey had his faults and this documentary deals with that. But it also makes it clear that Garvey made a positive impact on many people from the testimonies of people who actually remembered the Garvey movement. Incidentally, in response to one of the previous posters, this DVD DID mention that Garvey created the Red, Black and Green flag.
Next to reading "Black Moses" or "The Philosophy of Marcus Garvey," this is a good introduction for anyone who wants to learn about Marcus Garvey. See this, read Garvey's own writings, and judge for yourself.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine and Factual Documentary November 10, 2003
I wish folks would use these pages to REVIEW material and not to further their apparent agendas. 'A Viewer', who is very clear in his/her agenda, saw fit to post five separate diatribes against this film. Apparently 'A Viewer felt that there were some relationships and/or situations which were not adequately covered by the documentary. 'A Viewer', however, makes no reference to any substantiation to any of his/her claims, and so one can do no more than dismiss them.
PBS has always been pretty clear in its political leanings and if they were going to slant this film, and I don't claim in this review that they do, they would certainly have slanted it in the direction opposite that to which 'A Viewer' claims they have slanted it. And I believe they deserve credit for the fact that they chose 'American Experience' to shine a light on someone other than Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.
The bottom line is, if you're interested in one of history's lesser known black figures, you will find this documentary fascinating. Normally, I would have only given it 3 or 4 stars, but I feel compelled to counteract the damage 'A Viewer' has done by posting 5 reviews - each with only 1 star.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Marcus Garvey
The name Marcus Garvey was not new to me, but I did not know the history. I was astonished that he was part of American history, and that he once had so much influence in... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Beverley Zimba
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best About Garvey
I've seen a lot of documentaries and read many books about African American history and this film is by far one of the best. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C.P.G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Marcus garvey- the american experience
This an excellent book. it give good insight about a break man, leadership and a great icon i come to admire and love i recommend this book to everyone.
Published 7 months ago by Shawn
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in History
This was a gift purchased for someone who had it on the Gift List. With the "thank you" I received, this person also said, "this is my best Christmas ever". Read more
Published 8 months ago by N. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting for the Harlem period
This documentary is central to understand Marcus Garvey and his life. The son of an ex-slave, he was educated in Jamaica by this father in a very harsh way creating or transmitting... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jacques COULARDEAU
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have
A crucial part of Black history that is neither talked about nor taught. There is no Martin Luther King or Malcom X without Marcus Garvey. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bertrand Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrcus Garvey: Look for Me in the in the Whirlwind
Excellent a true Black Inspiration clear in it's aspiration and open with an ever present opposition of the dominant society and those allied with it.
Published 19 months ago by Stanley R Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind
Excellent film and price. It helped us keep up with what our son's Harlem Renaissance course at Dickinson College. Read more
Published on March 21, 2011 by Geoffrey B. Marchant
5.0 out of 5 stars Marcus Garvey - No Revolutionary Is Accepted!
This is a classic for anyone who wants to know true history. I heard many lies to Garvey's life, but PBS released a winner in all accounts. Read more
Published on February 7, 2009 by PK
5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Powerful Witness
This DVD produced by PBC is an excellent treasure for those who are interested in understanding the historical events in the development of Black American culture. Read more
Published on December 26, 2007 by Gloria Menyweather-woods
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