The Young Lords Ride Again

Director’s Action: Bronx-Side Story

As West Side Story, Steven Spielberg’s musical about Puerto Rican gangs, is released, a documentary about a Puerto Rican militant organization that also takes place in New York City has emerged. Emma Francis-Snyder’s award-winning Takeover is a 38-minute nonfiction chronicle of a 1970 direct action in the Bronx executed by the Young Lords – only about two months before the prison uprising in Upstate New York documented in Stanley Nelson’s new doc Attica. Like West Side Story and Attica, Takeover is an exciting, action-packed film – indeed, Takeover is arguably more thrilling than those Liam Neeson Taken flicks.

Takeover was screened in November as part of the “Meet The Press Film Festival at AFI Fest.” Los Angeles’ largest annual film festival, AFI Fest returned to Hollywood in 2021 for live, in-person screenings (with a virtual component) of documentary, short, indie, studio, and foreign productions at the TCL Chinese Theatres. According to AFI’s website: “In partnership with NBC’s Meet the Press, these short documentaries spotlight compelling stories about pressing issues facing our society with conversations moderated by NBC News journalists.” Meet the Press, of course, is the long running TV news program.

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Ed Rampell was named after legendary CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College and is an L.A.-based film historian/critic who co-organized the 2017 70th anniversary Blacklist remembrance at the Writers Guild theater in Beverly Hills and was a moderator at 2019’s “Blacklist Exiles in Mexico” filmfest and conference at the San Francisco Art Institute. Rampell co-presented “The Hollywood Ten at 75” film series at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and is the author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States and co-author of The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.    

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