Bringing King to China

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Bringing King to China
Bringing King to China.jpg
Directed by Kevin McKiernan
Produced by Kevin McKiernan
Written by Kevin McKiernan
Music by Bronwen Jones
Cinematography Kevin McKiernan
Haskell Wexler
Edited by Paul Alexander Juutilainen
Release dates
  • January 2011 (2011-01) (USA)
Running time 85 minutes
Language English

Bringing King to China is a 2011 documentary film by Kevin McKiernan. The cinematographers include three-time Oscar-winner Haskell Wexler.

The documentary is "a father's 'love letter' to his adult daughter, a young American woman struggling to bring Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of nonviolence to China, and then back to the United States. Her life is thrown into turmoil when she learns, mistakenly, that her father, a journalist covering the war in Iraq, has been killed by a suicide bomber."[1]

Bringing King to China conveys the lead character's "dream to build a bridge between the societies by talking about peaceful struggle and universal rights."[2] It chronicles her struggle to interpret and adapt King's message for Chinese society, preserve the historical accuracy of the U.S. civil rights movement, clear bureaucratic hurdles before opening night and raise funds to pay the theater company. The film takes American viewers backstage at the National Theatre of China, as Chinese actors rehearse with African-American gospel singers.[3]

The film premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival[4] and won best documentary at the Ventura International Film Festival[5] and the Tulsa International Film Festival.[6] In 2011, it was scheduled to screen at film festivals across the US, including DOCNYC[7] and the St. Louis International Film Festival. Commentators called the film timely,[8] noting it premiered in the lead-up to the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.


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