Film: 5131

Social History | 1960 | Sound | B/W

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Synopsis:

Comprehensive footage of Klu Klux Klan meetings with interviews with leading exponents of their racist philosophy.

Rural American road at night. Voiceover "25th March Civil Rights worker Viola Liuzzo drove from Selma, Montgomery and was followed by four members of the Ku Klux Klan. Reconstructed chase. Stills of Liuzzo's car with shattered windscreen. Three of the occupants of the chasing car await trial for murder. Klan rally with Klansman lawyer. Matt Murphy filmed at Klan rally brandishing a gun. The three are introduced on camera by Matt Murphy. Klu Klux Klan members walk over the horizon of a darkened evening holding torches. Street scenes of poor town in deep South of the United States. Groups of black people stand on the sidewalk or pavement. Motorcade of the Knights of the Klan drives into the city centre of a small town.

Robert Shelton voiceover justifying the presence of the Klan. Klan members walk down streets accompanied by bodyguards who resemble soldiers. Klan members and members of the hierarchy walk casually along the street, smiling and joking.

Archive footage of the Klan in a forest, filmed in 1921. This inauguration ceremony followed rapidly by footage of a mass march on Washington in 1925. Mass membership of five million members. Ku Klux Klan philosophy is explained by narrator. Recruiting meeting in rural setting. Event organiser is interviewed by David Dimbleby at length. Robert Shelton Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan gives a speech followed by the distribution of racist literature. Dimbleby meets a black or negro couple who detail their experiences of intimidation. Militant members of anti-Klan organisations discuss the methods employed by the Klan. Klan priest stirs up the crowd, followed by Matt Murphy lawyer acting on behalf of Klan defendants expounds his incoherent theories. Members both male and female are filmed watching Monroe give his speech. Robert Shelton, head of the United Klans of America is interviewed by Richard Dimbleby who explains his philosophy. Shelton is seen driving in his car with an early form of car phone. Panning shot of small town in Alabama used to represent the wide racial differences which exist. Small town streets in backwater in Alabama.

Interview with Charles Morgan, a white lawyer from Alabama who explains the rationale or lack of it with an incisive understanding of their political tactics. Large Klan meeting held at night with members wearing full regalia and carrying torches. A large cross is burned during the ceremony.


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