John Lewis: Good Trouble

John Lewis

By Joanna Langfield

If you’re looking for a hero, look no further than John Lewis, the non-violent activist who walked the walk with Martin Luther King, Jr, led legislative action on civil and voting rights, and who, we discover, cuts a mean rug when the song “Happy” starts to play.

Of course, Dawn Porter’s use of archival footage and contemporary interviews gives us both a look back and some historical perspective, all of which is painful and solid.  There is no comparison in the film to today’s BLM movement or mention of the Congressman’s recent health struggles, both of which might have made all of this more potent (wouldn’t it have been great to add a picture of Lewis standing on the Black Lives Matter street painting in DC?), but we still can cull some very relevant stuff from this man and his life of what he calls ‘good trouble’.

Born into poverty, Lewis fought for an education. When encouraged to sue for entrance into university, Lewis’s mother worried the state would take away the little they had. But John found an alternate path, worked his way through a series of organizations and soon was marching with Dr. King across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Beatings by the police, arrests and political hurdles never stopped him and eventually, the quiet young family man was representing his Georgia home district in Congress.

Everyone in this film clearly adores Mr. Lewis and Porter allows us to see why. Not only is he a person of great accomplishment, he’s also adorable. Warm, funny, loyal, this is a man with a strong sense of duty and honor. He’s also got one hell of an art collection. Lewis has surely earned this worthy, entertaining documentary, one that’ll leave you wanting more.