Peter Wongbyline‚ Jan. 31‚ 2013

A confluence of celebrations accompanies Kino Classics’ timely DVD restoration of the National Film Registry honored documentary “King—A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis” (hereafter, “King”). Most recently, the second inauguration of America’s first black president took place before this writing. Predicting this event when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago would have been regarded as a madman’s delusion. Even 50 years ago, when the March on Washington was held on the Proclamation’s centenary, it’s doubtful many of that event’s participants seriously conceived of a President Barack Obama.

Rather than being a timed money grab, Kino Lorber’s newly re-mastered 2-DVD release of “King” is an act of cultural and political public service. This DVD release offers the Academy Award-nominated documentary in its complete 3-hour plus version for the first time since its original 1970 showing. New audiences can learn why King’s work still matters.