Documentary explores the history of the struggle of voting rights from the 1960s through the present day.
Let The People Decide connects the dots across the decades to show how the hotly debated issues of race and voting did not spring from a vacuum, but have been woven into the fabric of our society for generations.
With more than 40 interviews, Let The People Decide includes statements by Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Bob Moses, Rep. John Lewis, Julian Bond, Dick Gregory, Harry Belafonte and four generations of activists, scholars, journalists, and figures from all sides of the political spectrum.
The film is divided into three acts. Act I takes place in Mississippi from 1961-1964. In this instance, Mississippi is a proxy for the entire southern struggle for voting rights. We follow Bob Moses and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as they try to encourage impoverished and illiterate share croppers to register to vote under threat of both economic and violent retaliation.
Act II focuses on the era after the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This is the political era when the Southern Strategy was hatched and the former “Solid South” of the Democratic Party, flipped to the Republican party. We trace this political movement from George Wallace and Barry Goldwater to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Act III brings us to the present day and uses North Carolina as a proxy for the rest of the United States with regard to the struggle over the political fallout of the US Supreme Court decision Shelby v. Holder. This ruling in 2013 severely weakened the Voting Rights Act, and many states rushed to enact new voting measures that they claimed were meant to protect the “integrity” of the ballot box.
Civil Rights groups challenged these laws as racially discriminatory and designed to prevent minorities and the poor from voting. Follow Rev. Dr. William Barber II and the Moral Monday movement as he challenges these laws in the streets and the courts.
This film is nonpartisan in nature and works to represent all sides of the issue. Both sides of the debate argue that voting is the sacred heart of democracy, yet they both feel that elections are inherently “unfair.”
Let The People Decide relies on first-person accounts from the Civil Rights movement more than 50 years ago. With clips from current civil disobedience conflicts, this film paints a picture of a conflict that spans generations.
View Let The People Decide on October 10, 2020 at 10 a.m. as part of the 2020 Tryon International Film Festival. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival can be viewed online. The festival begins Friday, Oct. 9 with a virtual gala and inspiring film. All other films can be viewed Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 via special screenings offering live interviews with filmmakers and actors, and even live Q&A. Following the official festival dates, all films and recorded content will be available for eight days, Oct. 12-19. Visit TryonInternationalFilmFestival.com for details.
Let The People Decide was written and directed by Gavin Guerra. For more information, visit ltpd.gavinguerra.com.