17

MONDAY

Blessed with a voice that made even his most obtuse musings to the press sound like gospel, Martin Luther King Jr. might have been taken for the Messiah. It’s hard to know how Washington’s or Lincoln’s speeches might have carried to their contemporaries, but thanks to the magic of film, the good pastor will remain forever a man as well as a monument. Beginning with Harry Belafonte’s somber introduction, the 1970 documentary King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis captures all the key moments of King’s career. “You know when I say, ‘Do not be afraid,’” we hear him tell protesters in Birmingham, Ala., “you know what I really mean. Don’t even be afraid to die. You must say somehow…‘I may not be able to read and write, but I have the capacity to die.’” Did any other American leader of the 20th century possess an instrument strong enough to deliver so chilling a commandment? The film screens at 1 p.m. at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Free. (301) 495-6700. (Paul Morton)