Reviews & Quotes | American Justice On Trial


Educational Media Reviews Online | Reviewed by Russell A. Hall, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State Erie
"American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton is recommended for courses that examine race and law in the 20th century United States (with reverberations into the 21st century) or the history of Civil Rights in the United States."

Booklist Online | Sue-Ellen Beauregard
"With police violence, racism, and hate crimes still evident in today’s news cycle, this piece of history is perfect for eliciting discussions among students and others."

Stanford University | Mira Foster, Ph.D., Director of Education, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
“A ‘MUST’ addition to the educational repertoire on American Studies and Civil/Human Rights history. Following the contentious trial of Huey P. Newton, the documentary showcases the systemic injustice of the U.S. judicial system while highlighting those who risk everything to change it.”

Hon. Elihu Harris, former Oakland Mayor & Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District

“American Justice on Trial is a fascinating look at one of the most famous trials in American history. This is a must-see for anyone committed to equal justice under law."

East Bay Yesterday | Liam O'Donoghue, Host/Producer
"This brave film transports viewers into one of the most explosive trials of the 1960s and truly shines a light on one of the lesser-known legacies of the Black Panther Party. It brilliantly presents the story of how Huey Newton and his legal team not only beat the death penalty, but changed the criminal justice system in the process. A real-life courtroom drama packed with iconic characters and a deep message."

Hon. Thelton Henderson, Retired Senior U.S. District Court Judge
"American Justice on Trial brilliantly depicts how the Newton case challenged a jury system which routinely excluded qualified Blacks from jury duty in criminal trials and revolutionized the way juries are now selected."

Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame | Penny Cooper
“Superb lawyering produced a diversified jury; the documentary is a fascinating examination of how American justice triumphs in an Oakland courtroom.”

Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP | Gay Grunfeld, Managing Partner
“The MCLE presentation was superb! We all learned a lot from your film, the skit and your presentation.”

African American Museum and Library at Oakland | Bamidele Agbasegbe Demerson, Chief Curator
“The film offers insights toward understanding a legendary twentieth century cultural hero caught in the throes of a battle against the pernicious effects of the American racial caste system. American Justice on Trial will prompt much needed discussions today in formal classroom settings as well as community forums."

University of Denver | Thomas D. Russell, J.D., Ph.D., legal historian and law professor
"American Justice on Trial honors Huey Newton’s trial and defense team as critical and groundbreaking in the battle against racism embedded in the American legal system. Law professors, law students, lawyers, and historians will benefit from this well-executed, timely film."

David Harper, People v. Newton, jury foreman
"As foreman of the Newton jury in the summer of 1968, I am thrilled at the authenticity and accuracy of this wonderful film—so skillfully put together! It means a lot to me to share this history with future generations.”

CSU Northridge | Alexis Krasilovsky, Prof. Emerita, Dept. of Cinema & Television Arts
“Such an important documentary. Everyone needs to see this film….There’s an ache to have stories like this get out to the wider public.”

NAACP Santa Clarita | Valerie Bradford, President
“A remarkable piece of work—sometimes painful, but accurately reflective of an era, a movement and a government's all too familiar response to a demand for respect and equality.”

Stanford University | Clayborne Carson, MLK Centennial Professor of History
“In shining a light on the pivotal but mostly forgotten Huey Newton trial, the film itself becomes a lasting achievement.”

Press Coverage

Deadline | Matthew Carey
“The original trial changed the way jury selection is conducted across America. The film itself is history-making."

SFGate | Randy Myers
"Revisits Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton's 1968 murder trial, a powder keg that exposed deep-seeded racism."

East Bay Express | Kelly Vance
"Absolute must-see doc is a scrapbook of historical memories, both bitter and hopeful....Great period footage and dramatic editing bring the landmark trial to life."

Counterpunch | Jonah Raskin
"Riveting...a near-perfect vehicle to educate and inform...a reminder that revolutions take place in courtrooms as well as in the streets and on the barricades."

Berkeley Daily Planet | Gar Smith
“Stunning…brings renewed attention to one of the most important trials of the last century, a legal show-down that succeeded against all odds in overcoming the racial bias of the nation's criminal justice system."

Eat Drink Films | C.J. Hirschfield
“This excellent new documentary…lay[s] out the story cleanly and artfully [and] gives us a snapshot of an important moment in our country's history, with issues that still resonate today.“

The San Francisco Standard | Richard Von Busack
“Excellent! This compact and visually rich documentary…focuses with rigor.”

SF Examiner | Jeffrey Anderson
"Gripping, profound!"

Bayflicks | Lincoln Spector

Mercury News | Randy Myers

Film Threat | Ray Lobo
"Paint(s) a vivid picture of Oakland’s racism and the activists’ indictment on a country whose history is written in both ink and blood."

KQED Arts | Michael Fox

KQED Forum | Alexis Madrigal

SF Chronicle | Pam Grady

KRON | Noelle Bellow

ABC News | Gloria Rodriguez | Lauren deLisa Coleman

KTVU-TV | Claudine Wong

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Press release