John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter, chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia. Using interviews and rare archival footage, John Lewis: Good Trouble chronicles John Robert Lewis’s 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform, and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family, and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.
John Lewis: Good Trouble explores a variety of issues that are associated with Lewis, but pays particular attention to one that is perhaps most closely associated with the Congressman’s tenure in politics: the Voting Rights Act. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made the comment that John Lewis can’t be separated from the Voting Rights Act, and she’s absolutely right,” says Porter. “Many of his early activities were centered on gaining access to the vote, so we really wanted to highlight what that battle has been like for both him and the country. And considering how much voter suppression we’ve seen recently, that subject speaks volumes right now.”
Arnon echoes the sentiment. “The Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013, and we’re seeing some of the hardships these voter suppression tactics have caused,” says the producer. “That’s why this was such a relevant and timely issue for us to focus on. It’s been a fundamental part of John Lewis’ life and legacy, which explains its importance in our film.” Further to that point, Alexander emphasizes Congressman Lewis’s dedication to preserving the right to vote for all saying, “John Lewis learned that the most powerful, nonviolent, tool for change, in the movement was the right to vote. So every day he works hard to defend and protect that right for everyone. He sees the right to vote as the cornerstone and proof of life for a strong democracy. And he has skin in the game. He’s shed tears and blood to keep the vote safe because he knows that’s what truly makes America great. And to maintain the conditions for freedom and justice, all American’s must fight to keep the ability to have their voices heard. Voting is that voice, it’s a powerful tool and John Lewis is its fierce guardian.
John Lewis: Good Trouble will hit theaters and be on-demand on July 3rd, 2020