Film poster for "American Revolutionary" with lady looking at building.
Film poster for "American Revolutionary" with lady looking at building.
The life of Chinese-American civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs


Regular price $349.00


​HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ★★★ 1/2 - Video Librarian | GEORGE FOSTER PEABODY AWARD | AUDIENCE AWARD - Los Angeles Film Festival

Politics • Philosophy • Civil Rights • Asian American • Race and Ethnicity • African American • Women's Studies

Date of Completion: 2013 | Run Time: 82 minutes​​ | Language: English (Spanish and Korean Subtitles Available) | Captions: Yes, Available in English & Spanish | Includes: Transcript & Discussion Guide Director: Grace Lee | Producers: Grace Lee, Caroline Libresco & Austin Wilkin

What does it mean to be an AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY today? Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American woman in Detroit, who died in October 2015 at 100 years old, has a surprising vision of revolution. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompassed the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future. This Peabody Award-winning documentary plunges us into Boggs’ lifelong practice of igniting community dialogue and action, work that traverses the major U.S. social movements of the last century: from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond.

Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s husband James Boggs, and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience — the ability to transform oneself in order to transform the world. More than ten years in the making, this interdisciplinary film has broad educational appeal.



Grace Lee won a Peabody Award for her documentary AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs about the life of civil rights activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs which won six festival audience awards before its national broadcast on the PBS series POV. She recently directed and produced the two-part documentary AND SHE COULD BE NEXT, about women of color transforming American politics, which broadcast on POV in 2020.  She was also a producer/director on ASIAN AMERICANS, a groundbreaking 5-part series that casts a fresh lens on US history through the stories, contributions and challenges of Asian Americans. Previous credits also include the Emmy-nominated MAKERS:WOMEN IN POLITICS for PBS; K-TOWN ‘92 about the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest, OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICA (PBS)  and THE GRACE LEE PROJECT (Sundance Channel). She is a co-founder of the Asian American Documentary Network,and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.