'40 Years a Prisoner' Features Philadelphia's MOVE Police Raid

A brand new documentary film about a well-known police incident here in West Philadelphia debuts on Tuesday.

"40 Years A Prisoner" chronicles the 1978 Philadelphia police raid on the radical back-to-nature group MOVE.

Director Tommy Oliver, a West Oak Lane native, told me he always heard about what happened and started asking questions.

He says he made this documentary to explore all sides.

"40 Years A Prisoner" follows Mike Africa, Jr. The son of two MOVE members, his parents were both imprisoned for the death of a police officer. He spent decades fighting to get them out of jail.

"Our story has never been explored to this level," Africa says.

Director Tommy Oliver tells me he always grew up hearing about MOVE, but only what he calls "broken whispers."

"It's just an objective look at what happened while being rooted in emotion," Oliver says. "There are real people on both sides of this. Beyond that, you're also going to see the very human journey of somebody without a shred of bitterness, despite all of what he went through who just wanted his family home."

Africa's parents were eventually released. He wants everyone to watch this with an open mind.

"I think a lot of people saw MOVE as a certain type of people. And I think this film will show that we're human," Africa says.

"40 Years A Prisoner" debuts Tuesday on HBO.
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