Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968

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Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968
Directed byThomas Reichman
Produced byThomas Reichman
StarringCharlie Mingus
Carolyn Mingus
CinematographyLee Osborne
Michael Wadleigh
Edited byRichard Clarke
Marshall Potakin
Inlet Films
Distributed byFilm-makers' Cooperative
Films Inc.
Release date
  • May 16, 1968 (1968-05-16)
Running time
58 minutes
CountryUnited States

Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968 is a 1968 American documentary film directed by Thomas Reichman (1944-1975) that follows the later life of jazz musician Charles Mingus and his five-year-old daughter in 1966, as they are being evicted from his New York apartment for not paying the rent. Reichman talks with Mingus in a very personal setting as the film documents Mingus' outlook on society, women, music, his daughter, politics, and the country as a whole. The camera crew talks with Mingus conversationally and spends time with him and his daughter so that the film takes on an intimate air.

The film highlights their way of life and how political and racial tensions affected people of the 1960s personally. The reason for Reichman's investigation into Mingus’ eviction was to show the lifestyle of a prominent jazz musician and to show how American society was structured during the Civil Rights era. At a time when the Jim Crow laws had recently been rescinded (Civil Rights Act of 1964[1] and Voting Rights Act of 1965), there were African Americans who didn't feel they were treated equally; in many cases they weren't.[2] Throughout this film Mingus makes it clear that he believes that society is run for and by “white America” and goes on to say that if it were not for his standing as a jazz musician he would not be treated anywhere close to equally.


The film looks into the life of Mingus as a musician, a father, and a U.S. citizen simultaneously. To begin, the audience is given a first-hand look at Mingus’ true passion: music. Throughout the documentary there are clips of Mingus performing with a small ensemble of other musicians jamming in the outskirts of Boston at Lennie's-On-The-Turnpike in Peabody, MA, a favorite club of jazz performers.

However, though Mingus’ musical talents are part of this film, they are not the main focus. Reichman instead documents how Mingus is being evicted from his New York city apartment. The movie begins with Mingus talking about his possible eviction.

Mingus shows a rifle that he has in his apartment.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Civil Rights Act of 1964". Archived from the original on 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  2. ^ Grossman, Mark (1993). The Civil Rights Movement. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-87436-696-8.
  3. ^ Santoro, Gene (2000). Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. pp. 7, 23, 250–251, 262–263. ISBN 0-19-514711-1.
  4. ^ Coleman, Janet (1991). Mingus/Mingus. Berkeley: Creative Arts Book Company. pp. 1–3, 12, 91–93. ISBN 0-87910-149-0.

External links[edit]