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Joe Berlinger to direct investigative Martin Luther King feature film

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 7, 2019  | 16:34 IST

Los Angeles, Apr 7 (PTI) Acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger has been roped in to direct a feature film revolving around the investigation of civil rights champion, Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination. Titled "Slay the Dreamer", the film is based on the life of James Lawson, a friend and advisor to King, reported Deadline. A civil rights icon in his own right, Lawson was instrumental in the Sanitation Workers' Strike in Memphis. During that strike, Lawson invited King to Memphis to speak to the workers, the night before his assassination. Berlinger is also attached to direct and produce a feature documentary on the same subject. The two projects will document Lawson's efforts to reopen the investigation into King's assassination in April 1968, after discovering, in 1976, that Grace Walden the only eyewitness to the man who shot King had involuntarily been held in a mental institution. According to Lawson, the FBI had held Walden under a fake alias after she refused a USD 100,000 reward or to sign an affidavit stating that James Earl Ray was the man whom she saw pulling the trigger. The individual films will track Lawson's investigation to free Walden, while uncovering new evidence that suggests Walden was correct in her belief that Ray did not murder King. Elizabeth Fowler will co-produce the untitled documentary with Berlinger. Lawson will act as a consultant to both the documentary and the feature film. "This is an extremely painful chapter of American history that for many remains unresolved. In this era of accountability and racial division, I am extremely humbled at the prospect of working with Revered Lawson to shine a light on what really happened that fateful day 51 years ago," the filmmaker said. Fowler added Berlinger's abilities as "an investigative filmmaker in both scripted and unscripted form" will create a unique opportunity to reveal shocking allegations behind the civil rights icon's assassination. Berlinger most recently released two simultaneous projects on serial killer Ted Bundy: the investigative docuseries "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes" and the feature "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile", starring Zac Efron as the notorious murderer. PTI RDS RDS

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