STATE — The documentary film, Truth Tellers (58min, 2002), by Maine filmmaker Richard Kane ( about Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth is now being distributed across the nation to nearly 300 PBS affiliates by American Public Television and will be broadcast by the WORLD Channel on February 29 at 2 p.m.  See the trailer:

Truth Tellers asks, “What defines a great American?” Through Maine artist Robert Shetterly’s 275 portraits of Americans – his “models of courageous citizenship” – we learn about the fearlessness of those defending democracy, fighting for racial justice, and indigenous rights, and the youth battling changing climate – some of the most pressing issues of our time.

These “Americans Who Tell the Truth” teach us about the moral courage it takes to protect our country’s founding ideals.

Two other Mainers featured in the film are Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador; and Sherri Mitchell, Indigenous rights attorney and author of Sacred Instructions, a collection of ancient indigenous wisdom.

Also featured in the film are current and historic, well-known and lesser-known courageous Americans including those fighting for racial justice: John Lewis; Fannie Lou Hamer; Bree Newsome; Zyahna Bryant; Reggie Harris; Bayard Rustin; Rev. Lennox Yearwood; Frederick Douglass; Rev. Lennox Yearwood; Sojourner Truth; and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Environmentalists include Bill McKibben; Kelsey Juliana; and Bill Bigelow.

Shetterly and the film have received accolades across the nation for his project, including these words from journalist and political commentator, Bill Moyers: “I am an ardent fan of Robert’s work and of the man himself.  He is the Diogenes of our time, searching for truth in the work of his subjects.  He has become an invaluable chronicler of 21st-century America. … Congratulations with this important film.”

The film will bring new and wider attention to the importance of speaking truth to power, to have the courage to build a society where all people are respected, where hatred is rejected, and where embracing diversity is the source of our strength.

The film is fiscally sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists, a not-for-profit educational organization.

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