4 Little Girls: Effective moments and contrast

What I enjoyed so much about this documentary was the effectiveness of it. It was simple, powerful, factual, and used a perfect combination of contrast, interviews of family and friends of the girls juxtaposed with archival footage and various interviews with people like George Wallace and Arthur Hanes Jr. Below are some examples or screenshots of moments that were very effective or people who provided personal anecdotes about their daughter (like the McNairs) that gave the audience a visceral reaction. There were many moments that I did not include but these are just a few that really stood out to me:

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Part of George Wallace’s interview. A miserable and horribly ignorant attempt at trying to reconcile his racism.
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Archival football of “Dynamite Bob” smiling while the narrator talks about how he was proud of his racism and believed the police would not touch him.
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Arthur Hanes, as he tries to explain why Birmingham was a fine place to live. Says the police could have been doing worse things than hoses and dogs, like firearms. This was juxtaposed with Mr. McNair’s anecdote about telling his daughter, Denise, she couldn’t have the food because she was black.
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Archival footage of brutality and violence paired with police dogs and firehoses.
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Mrs. McNair, remembering her daughter Denise. Specifically when she had to go to the morgue to identify her daughter. Her narrative moves the audience to feel empathy for this visceral pain she is still enduring. 
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Mr. McNair, discussing when he had to tell his daughter she was not allowed the food because of her skin color. 
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Archival footage of the funeral, MLK speaking. MLK’s letter to Denise’s parents is read aloud, evoking sadness and connecting the historical significance of this event simultaneously. The letter was eloquently written.
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Jane talking about her memory of Addie. She breaks down remembering how she rushed home excited to be with her to remember she was gone.

2 thoughts on “4 Little Girls: Effective moments and contrast”

  1. This was a really powerful blog post. I feel moved after reading it, particularly after looking at the last image. I liked that you went through and shared with us the moments in the film that moved you. The last image that you put up personally moved me just now. This sort of sharing and sympathy is how Spike Lee intended people react to this film .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first image, “Here’s one of my best friends right here”, was the most glaring example of “I’m not racist, I got a black friend”. I still laugh just thinking about that scene and the black friends reactions. But it also almost has a evil tinge to it. This man allowed racist violence to persist and take the lives of these 4 girls, and when questioned about his potential racism, pulls up a black guy to somehow show he isn’t racist.


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