Public History MA Student’s Documentary Accepted at Film Festival

The History Department is pleased to announce that Andre Taylor, a first-year Public History MA student, had his short documentary, “Burning Cradle of Liberty,” accepted at the 2019 Longleaf Film Festival. 

On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the house of the radical group, MOVE, killing 11 people, including children, and leveling a city block. Taylor’s documentary explores what led up to this event and its aftermath and includes interviews with survivor, Ramona Africa. Taylor uses oral histories, news footage, photos and narration to tell his story. 

At the time of this tragic event, Taylor was a child living in Philadelphia and it had a profound effect on him and devastated the community. Says Taylor, “The dynamic of the city changed. I don’t recall any violence in terms of attacks or retaliation. I just recall the city being numb. And then it all just got swept under the rug.”

Taylor was inspired to tell the story of the MOVE bombing, following a trip to South Africa as an undergraduate. Unlike in America, where many had forgotten or never heard of MOVE, South Africans were well aware of it. 

Depending on the reception of his film at Longleaf, Taylor plans to submit Burning Cradle of Liberty to other film festivals including in South Africa.

Longleaf 2019 will screen 59 juried films during film blocks scheduled for Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at the North Carolina Museum of History. Burning Cradle of Liberty will screen on May 11 at 3:30.
Andre Taylor’s research looks at the cultural side of climate change as well as food history.

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