Reviews and Festivals
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE
Broadcast on PBS’ POV Series
"Starred Review. DVD Pick of the Month.
A moving 20-minute capsule of the civil rights movement, particularly in Alabama, brought to a personal level by Armstrong’s sustained narration. Footage of speeches by Dr. King and President Obama, and a brief narrative of the civil rights time line since 1870 pack a lot of information into this worthwhile film."
— School Library Journal
“A stirring tribute to the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement, black Southern activists like the film’s focal character, James Armstrong.”
— New York Times
"The Barber of Birmingham
is an important and deeply moving film for the ages. For more than 200 years, the struggle to expand the right to vote has been critical to fulfilling the promise of our nation, and that struggle continues to this very day. No one who sees this film will ever take the right to vote for granted again.”
— Wade Henderson, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
“Today’s students were born long after the Civil Rights Movement. The Barber of Birmingham
animates what could be an uninteresting, abstract historical concept. This is storytelling and history at its best; every student deserves the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by the barber.”
— Whitney Olson, History Channel Educator Award; Director National History Day, Sonoma County
“As an historian and educator, I can't imagine teaching Civil Rights without The Barber of Birmingham
. Not only does this film have significant historical value, it is also undeniably relevant. The Barber of Birmingham
inspires and empowers students to recognize the role of individual actions in the past, present, and future.”
— Stacy Sempson, Middle School Teacher, Woodside Elementary
"A moving and accessible portrait of an honorable man who did honorable things in the context of an unhonorable social system. Audiences will appreciate the epic scale of the civil rights movement as seen through the eyes of one ordinary man."
— Anthropology Review Database
"Engrossing...Puts a face on the civil rights movement and underscores the dedicated work of those who risked their lives to secure rights. Archival footage interweaves smoothly with Armstrong's vivid recollections."
— Booklist (ALA)
Academy Awards, Best Documentary Short
Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University, Award in Journalism
Ashland Independent Film Festival, Short Documentary
Hollywood Shorts Film Festival, Audience Choice Award
Short Woods Hole Film Festival, Best Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
AFI/Discovery Silver Docs Festival
Mountain Film in Telluride
True/False Film Fest