John Lewis: Good Trouble | Chicago Reader
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John Lewis: Good Trouble

Real life American hero Congressman John Lewis is both honored and humanized by the documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble. The film draws a direct line between the past and present, cutting between Lewis’s accomplishments and newly-minted politicians such as Stacey Abrams and members of “The Squad,” highlighting the humbling task of stepping into the giant shoes of a legend. Covering well-worn territory such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, viewers are treated to stunning, rarely seen Civil Rights footage that was even new to Lewis himself. One particularly gripping scene shows a terrifyingly realistic nonviolence training session role-play in preparation for sit-ins at segregated diners—that would turn violent. Starting his life as a young man picking cotton, then ascending to the ranks of Congress, the film reveals a man who is a ruthless and cunning campaign opponent, a progressive and effective legislator, a hilarious, kindhearted fan of chickens and dancing, and a joyfully stoic man who possesses steely bravery in the face of white supremacists. Lewis says, “I lost my sense of fear. When you lose your sense of fear, you are free.” For a country in the grips of terrible trouble, John Lewis: Good Trouble is the perfect injection of courage.

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