Director Jason Osder's found-footage feature film "Let the Fire Burn" takes an in-depth look back at the events leading up to a deadly standoff between the black liberation group MOVE and the Philadelphia Police in 1985.
The feud between police and MOVE members led to a fiery blaze that quickly grew out of control when police made the questionable decision to "let it burn" resulting in the deaths of five children and six adults along with the destruction of over 60 homes.
Using only archival news coverage and interviews, Osder's first feature film brings to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.
"Let the Fire Burn" won the Award for Best Editing in a Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film also screened at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival. It will be distributed by Zeitgeist Films and opens Oct. 2 at The Film Forum in NYC to be followed by a limited theatrical release in select cities around the country.
Here's the synopsis:
On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped two pounds of military explosives onto a city row house occupied by the radical group MOVE. The resulting fire was not fought for over an hour although firefighters were on the scene with water cannons in place. Five children and six adults were killed and sixty-one homes were destroyed by the six-alarm blaze, one of the largest in the city's history. This dramatic tragedy unfolds through an extraordinary visual record previously withheld from the public. It is a graphic illustration of how prejudice, intolerance and fear can lead to unthinkable acts of violence.
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