Monday, December 17, 2018

"Man on Fire": documentary about a pastor who immolated himself to atone for the town's past racism

On Monday, December 17, 2014 some PBS stations aired the 1 hour documentary “Man on Fire”, directed by James Fendleman and produced by James Chase Sanchez, for PBS Independent Lens. 

The film accounts for the self-immolation of pastor Charles Moore, 79, in the parking lot of a Dollar General store in Grand Saline, TX, in the eastern part of the state.

His motive was to atone for the town’s generational history of racism.

Many people interviewed believe that race is no longer an issue for most people today. The film does account for a history of lynching in the past, which is also covered in the late Gode Davis’s unfinished film, “American Lynching” (the estate has apparently secured the materials and a PBS station in Boston is working on it, I believe). 

Moore had considered ending his life on the SMU campus in University Park, Dallas.

The Texas Observer covers the film in this article, “The Truth about racism in East Texas”.   There is an earlier article by Michael Hall in the Texas Monthly.
The official link is here. The film beings with a reenactment of the event.
Picture: from Balch Springs, TX

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