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HARLAN B. JOSEPH WAS HERE

Purcell Carson, director/producer.  Alison Isenberg, co-producer.  Mark Meatto, editor.

This is a film about a moment in our country’s past that feels painfully present again today. As it has before. It is a true story from the 1960s about a young Black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer only blocks from his home. This moment defines the stakes and the arc of this film, but the story lies in the coming of age of Harlan Bruce Joseph. The film traces his journey through a changing city and tumultuous era, allowing his specific path to lead us to better questions about the 1960s and what it meant to be young, Black and dedicated to change.

 

This project is directed by Purcell Carson, documentary editor and director. She teaches at Princeton University, where she started The Trenton Project to undertake documentary work in New Jersey’s capital, nine miles away. This film is a collaboration with history Professor Alison Isenberg, who is writing a book, Uprisings, on the same topic. The book and film represent years of original research and teaching, over eighty interviews, and the development of a public digital archive. 

 

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