Home of the Brave
Paola di Florio, Nancy Dickenson, Joan Churchill, Thomas G Miller, Karen Childms, David Powell
The price of social commitment, not just to oneself but to the generations that follow, is compassionately explored in Paola di Florio's Home of the Brave. On one level, this film is an examination of the death of Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit teamster's wife, mother of five, and activist during the height of the civil rights crusade of the 1960's. But it is also an investigation into the devastating effect of her death had on her family. Liuzzo, a white woman campaigning for black voting rights, was murdered near Selma, Alabama, in 1965 by the Ku Klux Klan. The murder trial and acquittal of the three arrested Klan members, a smear campaign mounted by the FBI against Liuzzo, and the subsequent revelations of the FBI agent present during the killing all coalesce to deepen the family members' personal despair and their disillusionment and contempt for the U.S. government.
Combining archival footage with verite material and present day interviews, di Florio assesses the cost of Liuzzo's passion for justice, her contribution to the advancement of civil rights, and the family's bitterness resulting largely from futile attempts to seek justice. Home of the Brave is an unstinting look at the human cost of fomenting social change in the Land of the Free.