INDEPENDENT LENS: Let the Fire Burn

INDEPENDENT LENS: Let the Fire Burn

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 10:00pm

A policeman surveys the devastation on Osage Avenue on May 14, 1985.

Credit: Courtesy of Philadelphia Inquirer

On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated — and resulted in the tragic deaths of 11 people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “...let the fire burn.” Using archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Jason Osder brings to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history. INDEPENDENT LENS: Let the Fire Burn airs Monday, May 12, 2014 at 10 p.m. on WXXI.

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