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History Film Forum: MLK/FBI

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History Film Forum: MLK/FBI

A Conversation with Director Sam Pollard

Free Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, January 18, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1P0733
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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REGISTRATION ADVISORY: This program is free, but registration is required. Program registration will cut off by 12 p.m. ET on Friday, January 15, 2021.

To view this program live on UStream please click this link:


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • This is a free program; online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

Film transports us to another time and place, offering new understandings of history, reinforcing or creating myths, and sparking powerful emotional connections to the past. The History Film Forum is a monthly online series from the Smithsonian that explores history on the screen and the evolution of film as public history. Screenings and discussions explore how and why film is so elemental to the way Americans understand and experience that history.  

The History Film Forum launches 2021 with the new documentary MLK/FBI. Based on newly discovered and declassified files, the film tells the tragic story of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Directed by Emmy Award winner Sam Pollard and featuring interviews with key figures, MLK/FBI explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.  

Join Pollard and Larry Rubin, a former field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in a conversation with Chris Wilson, the History Film Forum’s executive director and curator, that examines of the making of MKL/FBI and the issues it spotlights. A live Q&A is part of the program.

Note: A screening of the film is not part of the virtual event. The first 350 registrants are provided a link and login on Sat., Jan. 16 to stream MLK/FBI. The film can be viewed on a computer, smart TV, and apps that support Roku, Amazon, and Apple TV.

Monthly online History Film Forum screenings are presented in partnership with the National Museum of American History and through the support of Dan Manatt and Democracy Films.  

View the trailer for MLK/FBI.

Learn more about the History Film Forum.

Patron Information

  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
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  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
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