MLK/FBI performs the vital task of examining J. Edgar Hoover’s relentless campaign of surveillance and harassment against Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, when King is celebrated across political spectrums as a moral hero, it’s jolting to confront the years when US agents targeted him as a villain. Inspired by the work of historian David Garrow, the film uses recently declassified files to study the FBI’s motives and methods. In the 1950s and ’60s, when Black people started mobilizing to fight racial discrimination, Hoover saw the movement as a communist plot. Rather than support equality, the FBI sought to undermine King through wiretapping and blackmail, in what former FBI director James Comey calls “the darkest part of the bureau’s history.
Sam Pollard is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated director and producer. His films for HBO, PBS, and the Discovery Channel include the documentaries Four Little Girls, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Slavery by Another Name, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I Gotta Be Me, ACORN and the Firestorm, Why We Hate, and Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children. Pollard also directed two episodes of the groundbreaking series Eyes on the Prize II. Since 1994 Pollard has served on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and lives in New York City.