One of Martin Luther King’s most avid opponents was John Edgar Hoover, the controversial director of the FBI. Under his leadership, the FBI modernized its investigative techniques and became one of the most powerful and feared organizations in the United States. Hoover was known for his obsession with communism. He felt that anyone who behaved suspiciously was potentially a communist spy. He especially considered people who criticized American society as enemies of the country. This included Martin Luther King and the other members of the civil rights movement, who started a revolution by demanding equal rights. Hoover saw King and his followers as an affront to law and order. He often thought it more important to discredit African Americans than to apprehend members of the Ku Klux Klan. This biopic shows how, after the 1963 March on Washington, Hoover decided to start a crusade against Martin Luther King. Hoover wanted to show King in a bad light and had wiretaps installed in King’s hotel rooms and surroundings. The only thing Hoover finally discovered was that King was guilty of adultery. No other damning evidence was found and King’s reputation remained intact. The FBI files on King are still confidential and will only be released in fifteen years time.
Besides his attitude towards King, the film also deals with aspects of Hoover’s career, such as his fight against gangsters in the 1930s and his investigation of the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s child. Among the darker and more obscure sides of Hoover’s life were his obsession with fame and his fight against homosexuals. The latter is particularly poignant, given the rumors that he had himself had a secret homosexual relationship for many years. Director Clint Eastwood even incorporated a scene in the film which portrays Hoover as a transvestite.
For the trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR6fCQ71xcY
Director: Clint Eastwood
Available on DVD/Blu-ray