Home of the Brave

Director: Paola di Florio
Screenwriters: Paola di Florio

Institute History


The price of social commitment, not just to oneself but to the generations that follow, is compassionately explored in Paola di Florio's Home of the Brave. On one level, this film is an examination of the death of Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit teamster's wife, mother of five, and activist during the height of the civil rights crusade of the 1960s. But it is also an investigation into the haunting effect her death had on her family. Liuzzo, a white woman campaigning for black voting rights, was murdered near Selma, Alabama, in 1965 by the Ku Klux Klan. The murder trial and acquittal of the three arrested Klan members, a smear campaign mounted by the FBI against Liuzzo, and the subsequent revelations of the FBI informer present during the killing all coalesce to deepen the family members' personal despair and their disillusionment with the U.S. government.

Combining archival footage with vérité material and present-day interviews, di Florio assesses the cost of Liuzzo's passion for justice, her contribution to the advancement of civil rights, and the family's turmoil resulting largely from futile attempts to seek justice. Home of the Brave is a poignant look at the human cost of fomenting social change in the Land of the Free.

— Diane Weyermann

Screening Details

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