GET IN THE WAY is the first major documentary biography of Lewis, civil rights hero, congressional leader and champion of human rights whose unwavering fight for justice spans the past 50 years. The film was broadcast on national PBS as a highlight of Black History Month and showcases never-before-seen footage shot over 20 years. A masterful storyteller, Lewis relates the gripping tale of his role in an epic chapter of U.S. history.
Find links to download the Discussion Guide and Educational Guide below.
The son of sharecroppers, Lewis grew up in rural isolation, seemingly destined for a bleak future in the Jim Crow South. But he took a different path, rising from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, his humble origins forever linking him to those whose voices often go unheard.
As a student activist in the vanguard of the civil rights movement, Lewis was the youngest speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington, and in March 1965, he led the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, where state troopers attacked peaceful protesters with billy clubs, bullwhips and tear gas. Their horrific actions were broadcast on news reports into living rooms across America. Eight months later, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.
Once an activist pushing from the outside, Lewis has become a determined legislator creating change from the inside. Considered by many to be the conscience of Congress, with equal measures of modesty and forcefulness, Lewis strives to persuade D.C. powerbrokers to hear the voices of the unheard. Embracing human rights and the “dignity and worth of every person,” he challenges discrimination, poverty, poor education, police brutality, inaccessible healthcare and limitations on voting rights. Despite setbacks — and there have been many — John Lewis’ eyes remain on the prize.
Featuring Representative John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Juanita Abernathy and Bernard Lafayette; Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, John Larson, Andre Carson, Steny Hoyer, Luis Gutierrez, Amory Houghton, Nancy Pelosi, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senator Harry Reid.
SCREENINGS AND FESTIVALS
Directors Guild of America, Los Angeles
Newseum, Washington D.C
The Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles
National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta
Woodstock Film Festival, Woodstock, NY
U.S. Capitol Visitors Center for members of Congress
St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis
The International Black Film Festival, Nashville
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture, New York Public Library
Albany Civil Rights Institute, Albany GA
The International Family Film Festival, Los Angeles
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, Austin, TX
The Langston Hughes Center for Performing Arts, Seattle
He is the moving, roaring protector of the rights afforded every person in this nation. Get in the Way arrives at the perfect moment. - Alfre Woodard, Actor, Activist
Trump, as you may recall, tweeted that Lewis was “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results.” The documentary will show just how wrong he was. Lewis is all action, action, action. - Boston Globe
The values he embodies are more important than ever. Recent events signal a new urgency to see this inspiring film portrait. - Associated Press
Kathleen Dowdey (Producer/Director)
An award-winning filmmaker, Kathleen’s unique portrayal of documentary subjects is a refreshing fusion of personalized voice, layered observations and revelatory moments. She is a storyteller attracted to people deeply immersed in their cultures, driven by their history and thrust into change. Her exceptional artistry in Get in the Way has its roots in her early work, including A Celtic Trilogy, a documentary exploration of the renaissance of identity in the Celtic nations, Blue Heaven a narrative feature that exposes the hidden traumas of domestic violence and Dawn's Early Light, a portrait of newspaper editor Ralph McGill and his polarizing editorials in the South of the 1960s. As a writer, director and producer, Kathleen’s work is broadcast widely on network and cable television. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.