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  • Brandon MacMurray

Alive in Bronze: Huey P. Newton Review

Alive in Bronze: Huey P. Newton, dir. A.K. Sandhu

“It astonishes me that the city that is home to the Black Panther Party has done nothing in any way to honour them, nothing.”

This quote from sculptor/artist Dana King sets the tone of what she and this doc short are about to do, honour Huey P. Newton. There have been documentaries on Huey P. Newton before, even as early as last years shortlisted documentary short American Justice on Trial. But, what I love most about this short is it brings together a team of extremely talented women to bring a fresh and interesting perspective on remembering Huey.

Director A.K. Sandhu brings together wife of Huey P. Newton, Fredrika Newton and sculptor/artist Dana King to put together a truly touching tribute to the legacy of Huey P. Newton. At the realization that there is nothing in Oakland to mark neither the living nor passing of Huey P. Newton, Fredrika reached out to Dana about creating a plaque for the exact spot Huey was killed. Dana does one better and says she can create a bust, and so the project began.

Through first-hand accounts by Fredrika of their meeting and marriage, and a wide array of archival photography, Alive in Bronze paints a picture of the man being memorialized. The cinematography excels when showcasing the creation of the sculpture, making great use of lighting and angles.

The juxtaposition of the sculpture is poetic, as Fredrika comments on how cold the statue is, like a corpse, Dana notes that when it is in bronze it will be warm like the sun. This is a fitting tribute to Huey, who shone bright over the community he lived in and will continue to do so as a monument moving forward.

“I feel like the monuments in the United States don’t reflect the depth and breadth of who we are. Representation matters.”

Alive in Bronze shows very concisely why this is true. There is so much great history in the Black Panther Party that Alive in Bronze could have easily gone in so many directions and gotten away from itself. Instead, it sticks to what matters, who the community was to Huey and who Huey was (and still is) to his community. The amount of people who weathered one of Oaklands biggest storms to go to the unveiling of the statue says it all. He will live in the hearts of the people forever and the statue will be a shining beacon for generations to come.

Alive in Bronze is Oscar-qualified for the 96th Academy Awards and can now be streamed on Paramount+.

Review by: Brandon MacMurray



The short end of the stick: The inferior part, the worse side of an unequal deal

When it comes to cinema and the Oscars it always feels like short films and getting the short end of the stick. Lack of coverage, lack of predictions from experts and an afterthought in the conversation. With this site we hope to change that, highlighting shorts that stick with you, predictions, and news on what is happening in the world of shorts. 

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