Segments in this Video

Assassinated on April 4th, 1968 (05:51)


Xernona Clayton recalls how Dr. Martin Luther King's sons begged him not to travel to Memphis. Friends recall how desolate the spiritual leader felt during the last 18 months of his life. (Credits)

Interview: May 8th, 1967 (02:27)

Dr. King condemns the war in Vietnam and discusses how economic exploitation, militarism, and racism are tied together. Watch film clips of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Birmingham Campaign, Freedom Rides, Selma March, and the March on Washington.

Los Angeles Riots, 1965 (04:49)

Friends describe how Dr. King was affected by the riot at Watts. Watch clips of his speech where he addresses the crowd engaging with housing, education, and unemployment issues. President Lyndon Johnson called Dr. King for advice.

Vietnam War Erupts (02:14)

After meeting with Ambassador Goldberg, the press criticized Dr. King for stating his opinion about foreign policy publically. Diane Nash felt that the SCLC should remain in the south because work was left to be done. Dr. King decides to occupy a Chicago flat to work on segregated housing.

Chicago, Illinois: January 1966 (05:41)

Dr. King worried about the subverted racial hypocrisy in the North. Members of the SCLC describe living in the slums on Hamlin Avenue. Dr. King knew that listening to people would make him an effective leader and wanted to address housing, unemployment, and education.

Mississippi June 6, 1966 (09:10)

James Meredith launched the March against Fear to promote voter registration; the second day he was shot by a white gunman. Dr. King participated and attracted crowds. Stokely Carmichael coins the term, "Black Power."

Chicago, Illinois: July 10, 1966 (03:48)

Mayor Richard Daley calls President Johnson, debasing Dr. King's character. The SCLC begins to march into other ethnic neighborhoods and real estate companies in Chicago. The Chicago Freedom Movement places a list of demands on the door of Chicago City Hall to gain leverage with city leaders.

Gage Park: August 5, 1966 (07:09)

Dr. King's marches received a worse reception in Chicago than in the South and he appeared on "Meet the Press." Friends describe why they believe in a non-violent approach. The Chicago Freedom Movement agrees to halt the marches provided that Mayor Daley enacts specific programs.

Senate Hearing (04:21)

Senator Abraham Ribcoff questions Dr. King's change of position on the civil rights movement. Harry Belafonte describes Dr. King's frequent visits to New York City. Watch an appearance on the "Merv Griffin Show" in 1967.

King's Church (05:10)

Belafonte describes meetings King, Sr. Friends describe Dr. King, Jr.'s spirituality and relationship with Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Atlanta, Georgia (05:38)

Dr. King, Jr. invited Cleveland Sellers and Carmichael to his home for dinner in order to understand the "Black Power" movement. Friends describe their hesitation of Dr. King publicly opposing the Vietnam War. The FBI began to investigate and wiretap SCLC.

Extra-Marital Affairs (03:58)

The FBI attempted to discredit Dr. King, Jr. through revelations regarding his private life. Friends describe the pastor as a devoted family man. Coretta Scott King became involved in the anti-war movement well before Dr. King, Jr.

"Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" (07:11)

Dr. King, Jr. Appeared at Riverside Church in New York City and denounced the United States role in the Vietnam War. Listen to excerpts of the speech. Critics rebuked it and cost him significant allies; Dr. King, Jr. felt betrayed.

Summer 1967 (10:30)

Race riots break out in Detroit, Newark, and other towns. The SCLC organizes the "Poor People's Campaign." Friends describe growing concern on Dr. King's mental status and recall what a jokester he once was.

February 1968 (04:05)

Dr. King wanted his life to mean something. Lafayette describes how the pastor wanted poor whites, Chicanos, and Native Americans involved in the Poor People's Campaign.

Memphis, Tennessee (05:04)

Dr. King, Jr. traveled to Memphis Tennessee to support the strike of black sanitary public works employees. A riot broke out; Dr. King, Jr. promises a non-violent protest. Upon his return to Atlanta, the pastor rebukes the employees at the SCLC for not supporting him.

Back to Memphis (04:00)

Clayton recalls a Sunday family dinner in the King home before Dr. King, Jr. departs. On April 3rd, Dr. King, Jr. delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop."

April 4, 1968 (02:29)

Bernard Lafayette recalls how Dr. King wanted to grow the non-violent protest movement internationally. Jesse Jackson recalls the last few moments of the pastor's life.

Aftermath (06:53)

The Assassination led to a nationwide wave of race riots. President Johnson insisted that the Fair Housing Bill be passed. Coretta insisted that those who wanted to could pay their respects to the pastor at Spellman College.

April 9, 1968 (04:05)

Jacqueline Kennedy visits Atlanta to pay her respects to Coretta. Watch excerpts of the funeral procession.

Upon Reflection (04:42)

Friends and Colleagues discuss Dr. King's and their hopes for the future. By moving forward, human beings can achieve equality for all.

Credits: King in the Wilderness (01:51)

Credits: King in the Wilderness

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King In The Wilderness

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $199.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $299.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



From award-winning director/producer Peter Kunhardt, King in the Wilderness follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the volatile last three years of his life, from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in April 1968. Drawing on revelatory stories from his inner circle of friends, the film provides a clear window into the civil rights leader’s character, showing him to be a man with an unshakeable commitment to peaceful protest in the face of an increasingly unstable country. Illuminating and poignant, the documentary – which is tied to the 50th anniversary of King’s death – reveals a conflicted leader whose successes were punctuated in his final years by an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, whether the Black Power movement, who saw his nonviolence as weakness, or President Lyndon B. Johnson, who viewed his anti-Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible. With compassion and clarity, King in the Wilderness unearths a stirring new perspective into Dr. King’s character, his radical doctrine of nonviolence, and his internal philosophical struggles prior to his death, inviting a sense of penetrating intimacy and insight into one of the most profound thinkers of our time.

Length: 112 minutes

Item#: BVL148962

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.