During the turbulent Civil Rights era, over 400 men and women, black and white, challenged segregation laws by riding buses together into the Deep South. As a result of this non-violent act, these activists endured beatings, tear gas, and imprisonment. Based on the acclaimed book by Raymond Arsenault,"Riders" brings together interviews with the participants themselves, as well as journalists, government officials, and other first-hand witnesses. The result is a vivid account of a gallant struggle against racial injustice.
While most Americans have doubtless heard of the Freedom Riders, this meticulously researched, incisive work, presented by the acclaimed PBS series "American Experience" provides a level of immediacy and detail that brings the whole period back into vivid focus. Nominated for three Emmys, the film is a superb technical achievement; but more than anything else, its story of ordinary citizens taking extraordinary risks for the noblest of ideals is both affecting and profoundly humbling. This fascinating, inspirational chapter in our country's history should be required viewing for all thoughtful people, young and old.