The threat of death was always present for Dr. Martin Luther King during his reign as a peaceful revolutionary. Voices of opposition - some within his own trusted circles - were especially vociferous following his milestone speech against the Vietnam War on April 4, 1967 from the Riverside Church in New York. This created a fracture in the civil rights movement, and deepened displeasure among King's most caustic critics. Exactly one year after he delivered the speech, Dr. King was fallen by an assassin's bullet on a motel balcony in Memphis, TN. Produced by the Corbett Report, "Truth at Last: The Assassination of Martin Luther King" examines the cause and effect relationship between these two events.
In addition to archived photos, footage and stirring audio excerpts from King's most notable speeches, the film's narrative is driven by an interview with William F. Pepper, an attorney to both the King family and alleged assassin James Earl Ray, as well as the author of The Plot to Kill King. At the behest of King's family members, Pepper pursued a potential conspiracy behind the assassination for many years. His findings shed light on a number of glaring inconsistencies within the original investigation, and point a suspicious finger at shadow figures within the military industrial complex among several others.
Revelations contained in the film involve the machinations of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Ray's comings and goings both before and after the assassination, the mistaken identification of the murder weapon, and eyewitness testimonies that contradict the widely accepted shooting position of the gunman. Pepper's theory throws direct blame on a member of the Memphis Police Department, and implicates a number of other forces who sought to annihilate King's prominence on the world stage by any means necessary.
Fifty years after King's murder, the United States continues to grapple with race relations, an epidemic of poverty, and global skirmishes that continue to compromise the moral standing of the nation. Perhaps now more than ever, it's crucial that we not only revisit King's mission in life, but the circumstances surrounding his death as well.
Handsomely assembled and well researched, "Truth at Last: The Assassination of Martin Luther King" presents an absorbing alternate history.