4 Little Girls (1997)

4 LITTLE GIRLS is worth a watch, when it airs on HBO in February.  
Spike Lee's first feature-length documentary-- which was produced 
for HBO-- enjoyed only a brief theatrical run last year, to qualify 
for Oscar consideration.  (It'll get there.)  The title refers to 
Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole 
Rosamond, four black teens (ages 14, 11, 14, and 14) who were kil-
led on September 15, 1963, in a racially-motivated church bombing 
in Birmingham, Alabama.  Deftly integrating archival material with 
present-day accounts, Lee weaves several threads-- the city's his-
tory, the civil rights players of the time, the lasting impact of 
the blast, and the lives of the girls themselves-- into a cloth 
that profoundly affects even as it slightly rambles.  One gripe:  
Lee implies a link to current church burnings in the South, which, 
as I recall, investigators are largely attributing to causes other 
than race-related.  (Not Rated/97 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: January 4, 1998

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