Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You Got to Move screens in Chicago!

Screening 35mm & 16mm film prints from studio vaults, film archives, and private collections.

The Old Way of Getting It Out: An Interview with Lucy Massie Phenix About You Got to Move

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

YGTM event in Charleston, SC with Bill Saunders!

Charleston Post and Courier

GREENE COLUMN: Saunders, rights film go together

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
A younger Bill Saunders talks about the local civil rights struggle as he drives a 1967 Chrysler convertible along scenic River Road on Johns Island, passing ancient oaks that hug the road too tightly at times.
It's 1985, and the civil rights activist and lifelong island resident is featured in the documentary "You Got to Move -- Stories of Change in the South."
The film, by Lucy Phenix, features Saunders and several others across the country who attended workshops at Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee.
The center empowered, uplifted and inspired ordinary people -- blacks and whites -- to make changes in their communities.
In the film, Saunders, CEO of the Committee on Better Racial Assurance, talks about experiences and anger with police and racial injustices and the stark realities after returning home from the Korean War in 1951. He was awarded a Purple Heart in 2003 for an injury.
He also talks about human and civil rights struggles, including the 1969 hospital workers strike, which he helped organize.
The film has been re-released for its 25th anniversary, with updates from the 76-year-old Saunders, who is being honored for his contributions to local civil rights.
It's a fitting tribute.
Bernice Robinson, a beautician, also was featured. She too attended Highlander.
In 1955, Robinson became the first teacher for the Citizenship School, started by civil rights activist Esau Jenkins to teach African-Americans on the island to read. Many could not read, so were not allowed to vote.
Jenkins also attended the school, as well as a number of other well-known civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Septima Clark.
Saunders, a Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor commissioner and former owner of WPAL Radio, helped organize hospital workers seeking better wages and working conditions at the Medical College of South Carolina. That led to the 1969 hospital strike.
The Johns Island Regional Library is showing the film 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, and Saunders will give the introduction and answer questions afterward.
The College of Charleston also plans a tribute.
On Feb. 2, 4 and 5, the college will hold its screening of the film and a series of events to honor Saunders.
On Feb. 2, the documentary and a reception will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni Center of the Education Building, 86 Wentworth St.
On Feb. 4 , a workshop on efforts to build livable, prosperous and equitable communities will be at 3-5 p.m. at Alumni Center.
On Feb. 5, Saunders will lead a "Living Human Rights History" bus tour from Charleston to Johns Island. He will give information about civil rights and other historical landmarks.
One site will be Esau Jenkins' home, where Martin Luther King stayed on one of several visits to the Lowcountry.
Seats on the bus tour are reserved on a first come, first served basis. RSVP to Jon Hale at 953-6354 by Jan. 23. The film is well worth the effort.

Friday, October 14, 2011

High Plains Drifter review

High Plains Drifter

‘You Got To Move’ Documentary:

By Christopher P. Jacobs
Movies Editor
One of 2011’s biggest surprise hit films has been “The Help,” based on Kathryn Stockett’s surprise hit 2009 novel of the same name about the racism faced by black maids in 1960s Mississippi. Aided by a remarkably strong cast, it skillfully blends comedy and drama as it depicts an aspiring young woman journalist’s appalled reaction to the hypocrisy of her childhood friends, now the leaders of polite local society, and the demeaning way they treat their family servants. The film chronicles her efforts to convince the maids to tell her their stories for publication, and the results when the book appears.
“The Help” is a crowd-pleasing, feel-good fictionalization of a woman’s struggle to prove her own value in a male-dominated culture while simultaneously revealing the personal effects of racial discrimination on those forced to live with it during the height of the civil rights movement. It becomes obvious during the course of the plot that the determination of individual people who are considered negligible by those in charge is what causes change to happen—not the outside agitation by professional activists.
In real life, this concept of helping people to help themselves is something that inspired Myles Horton, a young man from the mountains of Tennessee later described as a “hillbilly radical.” He established the Highland Folk School in 1932, where people black and white could come together to discuss their problems and ways they might be able to change their situation. Simply teaching illiterate but intelligent adults to read and write was a major step. Now called the Highlander Research and Education Center and about to celebrate its 80th anniversary, it continues to hold workshops and provide support for people seeking social justice in labor issues, civil rights, and protection from corporate pollution. Highlander has been attended by such notable figures as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Paul Wellstone.
In 1980, inspired by Horton, filmmaker Lucy Massie Phenix decided to make a film she hoped would convince ordinary people that they truly had the power to bring about changes for the good of themselves, their neighbors, and the world. The result was finally finished five years later, “You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South,” a 1985 documentary that briefly outlines the history of the Highlander Center, then uses interviews and news footage to tell the stories of several people, mostly women, whose experiences at Highlander motivated them to take action that resulted in a positive effect.
Young black women Bernice Robinson and Bernice Johnson Reagon each found ways to contribute their talents to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s in South Carolina and Georgia. Black mattress factory worker Bill Saunders came to the realization that poverty crossed racial lines and helped organize oppressed hospital workers black and white in 1969, and went on to run a community radio station. Becky Simpson overcame her lack of formal education to create awareness of the devastation strip mining was causing communities in Cranks Creek, Kentucky, and to get some land reclamation started. Rural Tennessee housewives Gail Story and MaryLee Rogers gave up their soap operas to become instrumental in organizing the community to stop the trucking of hazardous chemicals to their local garbage dump.
Next Tuesday, October 18th, “You Got to Move” makes its debut on DVD, transferred from the filmmaker’s original internegative with an impressive selection of bonus features. One of the best is the deleted sequence of E. D. Nixon describing how he planned the famous Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott after the Rosa Parks incident. Another is a substantial excerpt from the PBS Bill Moyers’ Journal interview with Myles Horton form 1981. There’s also a new interview with filmmaker Lucy Massie Phenix about the film, and a new interview with Bill Saunders made for this disc, as well as an update on all the people featured in the film. In addition there’s a brief recording of some of the activities at the 75th anniversary of Highlander in 2007.
“You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South” may be an inspiration to anyone frustrated with a sense of helplessness when confronted by all the political, corporate, and legal red tape necessary to overcome to address any issue. It can also be a revelation on how much social change has actually come from relatively anonymous average people rather than high-profile activist reformers. The DVD is being released by Milliarium Zero, a special distribution arm created specifically for films with strong socio-political content by the small independent company Milestone Film and Video. If the disc can’t be found in local stores, it can be ordered directly from Milestone/Milliarium at or by calling toll-free 1-800-603-1104.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

DVD Obscura review!

DVD Obscura
Review by Alonso Duralde

If they ever have “movie night” at Occupy Wall Street or any of its affiliated protests nationwide, I’d recommend they check out You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South (Milliarium Zero/Milestone Video; available October 18). Director Lucy Massie Phenix takes us to Tennessee’s Highlander Research and Education Center, a facility dedicated to teaching ordinary people how to stand up for civil rights and to fight against corporations who try to bring strip mining and toxic waste dumps to their rural communities. It’s a stirring, essential documentary, and the DVD features plenty of cool extras, including a Bill Moyers interview and a talk with E.D. Nixon, one of the main architects of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coming to DVD on October 18!

a film by Lucy Massie Phenix

For Immediate Release                                                                                                  September 6, 2011

World DVD Premiere OCTOBER 18, 2011 Commemorating 80th Anniversary of the Highlander Research and Education Center and 50th Anniversary of the historic Albany Movement

“From Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. to Paul Wellstone and so many more who followed them, the Highlander Center has been an inspiration for the continuing struggle for social justice in America.  Lucy Phenix has splendidly caught the spirit and moral power of an historic place where democracy still lives.”  – Bill Moyers, 2011

Lucy Massie Phenix's remarkable documentary You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South celebrates individuals and communities who dared to change the world for the better. Inspired by the filmmaker’s experiences at Tennessee’s world-renowned Highlander Research and Education Center, the film captures the enthusiastic spirit of a place that has helped people unite at the grassroots level. Highlander alumni have long been active in some of the most significant movements for justice — leading the fights for civil and labor rights and working to protect communities from the ravages of strip mining and toxic waste dumping. Rich in the language and music of the South, You Got to Move tells their stories — chronicling how “ordinary” people discovered the courage and ability to confront reality, and change it. It is a film that champions civil action and makes you want to move!

The DVD release commemorates the upcoming 80th anniversary of Highlander, whose attendees included Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King and where the song “We Shall Overcome” was re-written and became part of the movement. The premiere also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Albany Movement — a landmark in the history of American civil rights activism — which was led by students, including Bernice Johnson Reagon (founder of the a cappella group Sweet Honey In the Rock and a nationwide leader for human rights) who appears in the film. To create this deluxe DVD, Milliarium Zero (sister company to Milestone Films) created a stunning high-def scan from of the director’s original internegative and then added a plethora of bonus features.

“You Got to Move reveals the truth that one person, (maybe you), can begin the action that will change the world.  It is a film that refreshes eyes and ears as well as the spirit for it is full of beautiful, diverse American faces and speech and music. It beautifully captures the contagious joy of struggle.”Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

·     For more information, contact Dennis Doros at
·     Exclusively distributed to wholesalers and stores by Oscilloscope Laboratories.
·     The DVD is also available direct from or 
or by calling our toll-free number (800) 603-1104.

1)     New High-def master off the original internegative
2)     Bill Moyers’ Journal: Adventures of a Radical Hillbilly: Myles Horton, (1981, excerpt)
3)     The Cutting Room Floor: Interview with E.D. Nixon, Architect of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
4)     Highlander’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, 2007, short film
5)     Lucy Massie Phenix comments on the making of the film
6)     The people in the film revisited
7)     Interview with Bill Saunders (2010)
8)     Spanish and SHD subtitles (Optional)

A Film by Lucy Massie Phenix. Co-Editor and Co-Director Veronica Selver. Preservation By Milliarium Zero. USA. 86 Minutes. 1985. Color/B&W.
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1. Street 10/18/11. UPC 784148011042. SRP $29.95. ISBN 978-1-933920-09-2. Item # Mile00110.
With Myles Horton, Bernice Robinson, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, William Saunders, Rebecca Simpson, Gail & Richard Story, May Justice, Marylee & Russell Rogers, Becky Simpson, Members Of The Bumpass Cove Community And The Cranks Creek Survival Center Of Kentucky.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to the viewer submission blog for YOU GOT TO MOVE!

Dear friends,

You Got to Move is the third film released by Milliarium Zero, the sister company to Milestone Films. Milliarium Zero was set up to release socially significant films both historical and contemporary. So far, our little company has exceeded our wildest expectations. Winter Soldier was released in 2005 at the height of the war in Iraq, and gained national attention (and discussion). It was used by the Iraq Veterans Against the War as a template for their own protests. Word is Out was released in 2010, just as debates about the rights of gay marriage were heating up. It was shown on national television by Turner Classic Movies, and (we hope) added another prominent voice for the LGBT community. Now, perhaps most importantly, Milliarium Zero is releasing You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South. Inspired by filmmaker Lucy Massie Phenix's experiences at Tennessee’s world-renowned Highlander Research and Education Center, the film captures the enthusiastic spirit of a place that has helped people unite at the grassroots level.

We discovered in 2005 that in the thirty-plus years since the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement, people have forgotten how powerful an individual's voice can be — and, moreover, that it's just not the Martin Luther King's of the world that can wield the power of one voice. A leader can be anybody from anywhere — even you could be that person.

You Got to Move celebrates the individual's ability to change society for the better. So, please(!) share your stories about social change, your experiences at Highlander, links to articles or books on related subjects, or perhaps how seeing the movie inspired you. We look forward to hearing from you!

--Dennis Doros, Milliarium Zero and Milestone Film & Video