Revisionist interpretations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) role in enforcing civil rights legislation and its monitoring of black activists have proliferated during the last decade. Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, Racial Matters by Kenneth O'Reilly, and The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Garrow are just a few of the numerous books to chronicle the FBI's somewhat embarrassing record on race-related issues. Given this wealth of documentation in print, it is even more startling that in the world of cinema, the FBI is still being depicted as heroically as it was in the days when J. Edgar Hoover manipulated the agency's public image. Costas Gavras' Betrayal and Alan Parker's Mississippi Burning feature celluloid FBI agents who no doubt would have been sources of great pride to the late director.


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