Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement

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Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement
Directed byEduardo Montes-Bradley
Written byEduardo Montes-Bradley
Produced byHeritage Film Project
StarringJulian Bond
Music byVarious
Distributed byAlexander Street Press
Release date
  • October 2012 (2012-10)
Running time
30 minutes
CountryUnited States

Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement is a documentary film by Eduardo Montes-Bradley for Heritage Film Project,[1][2] a portrait of social activist and former Georgia legislator Julian Bond.[3][4]

In the film Bond approaches the Civil Rights Movement from a personal perspective. "Bond's father was the first African-American president of Pennsylvania's Lincoln University, and the family hosted black luminaries in education and the arts, but Bond recalls growing up in the era of "separate but equal" laws".[5] Julian Bond premiered at the Virginia Film Festival on November 4, 2012.[6][7]


The film is built around an in-depth interview with Julian Bond conducted by the director at the Sixth & I Synagogue. Portions of his last class's faculty in the History Department at the University of Virginia are also included. The Key interview is bolstered by a barrage of photographs and archival footage taken from multiple archival sources. These images help define and illustrate the historical context, from the American Civil War to the 2008 US presidential election and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.[8]

Through interviews and archival images and footage, the film documents Julian Bond's life and the role he played during the Civil Rights Movement.[9] The first part of the film concentrates on the historical factors that led to the March On Washington on August 28, 1963. These factors are brought to light through the telling of the sagas of Bond's grandfather, James Bond—a man born in slavery who went on to graduate from Berea College and Oberlin College—and Jane Arthur Bond, Julian's great-grandmother. Julian's father, Horace Mann Bond, a one-time president of Lincoln College in Pennsylvania, is also considered. The family-related aspects of the film are carefully illustrated with photos from the Bond family albums that were loaned to the producers.

The second act begins with the March on Washington and Bond's entrance into politics at age 23 and concludes with his manifest opposition to the Vietnam War.

The conclusion begins by showing Bond's formal acceptance as an elected representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, after finally winning a three-year court battle against the legislative body that had originally refused him his seat due to positions he had taken on issues relating to the Vietnam War. This is followed by segments that show Bond's nomination for Vice President of the United States at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; his failed attempt to obtain the nomination for the presidency in 1976; and a succession of events leading to the 2008 presidential election when Barack Obama became the first African American president of the United States.

Filming locations[edit]

The principal interviews with Bond used in the film were conducted at Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington D.C., and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Additional filming was done at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.[10][better source needed]


Julian Bond first screened at the Virginia Film Festival on November 4, 2012 at the Nau Auditorium on the University of Virginia campus, followed by screening the following year as part of "A Living Legend: The University of Virginia Honors Julian Bond".[11][12] It has since screened at multiple film festivals and events,[13] including a 2014 Black History Month screening at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.[14] Two years later it was given a screening at the British Academy as part of a retrospective "Civil Rights Documentary Cinema and the 1960s : Transatlantic Conversations on History, Race and Rights".[15]


According to Giles Morris of the C-Ville Weekly, the gems of the film are the "off-guard moments" when Julian Bond relates to Montes-Bradley how Jim Crow was perceived by a child (himself) in the first half of the 1950s.[16] Patricia Ann Owens of the School Library Journal was also favorable, noting that Julian Bond was classroom friendly and powerful.[17]


  • Best Documentary at the 4th Annual Baltimore International Black Film Festival (2017, won)In 2017 the film screened at the 4th Annual Baltimore International Black Film Festival, where it received an award for Best Documentary.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schudel, Matt "Julian Bond, charismatic civil rights figure, dies at 75". Washington Post. August 16, 2015
  2. ^ Schudel, Matt (August 16, 2015). "Julian Bond, charismatic civil rights figure, dies at 75". Washington Post.
  3. ^ Finn, Clayton"The Price of a Sexual Politics of Respectability: W. E. B. Du Bois, Racial Uplift, and the Harlem Renaissance" The American Papers. The American Studies Student Association California State University, Fullerton.
  4. ^ "Eduardo Montes-Bradley on Julian Bond and the civil rights struggle". C-VILLE Weekly. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  5. ^ Puffer-Rothenberg, M | Video Librarian. Film review. September 2013. USA
  6. ^ "Les boîtes ouvertes de l'Amérique numérique. Aveux d'un documentariste indocile" Revue Annuelle de L'association Rencontres Cinémas D'Amerique Latine de Toulouse. Toulouse, France. Issue Number 21. p. 171
  7. ^ "Revolutionary: How to film upheaval-- and pick up girls". The Hook. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  8. ^ Producers Official Website: Heritage Film Project
  9. ^ Graham Moomaw. "Documentary on Julian Bond helps wind down film festival" The Daily Progress. November 4, 2012
  10. ^ Julian Bond (Movie) Official Facebook Page.
  11. ^ "Film Festival Announces Partial Lineup". The Daily Progress. Charlottesville, VA. October 3, 2012. p. 6
  12. ^ Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau's web site Archived 2013-01-06 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Wenzel, Ty, "African-American Film Festival Transcends Race" The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press | September 22, 2015
  14. ^ "Julian Bond Documentary Gives Firsthand Account of Civil Rights Movement". CBS 19 News. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  15. ^ "Civil Rights documentary cinema and the 1960s: transatlantic conversations on history, race and rights". The British Academy. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  16. ^ Morris, Giles. "Local filmmaker takes on the civil rights struggle from a foreign perspective" C-Ville Weekly, November 1, 2012. p. 18
  17. ^ "Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  18. ^ Baltimore International Black Film Festival. Notification Date September 24, 2017 Event Date: October 4, 2017 [1]

External links[edit]