Isaac Pope: The Spirit of an American Century

Episode 1 of 1

From the virtual slavery of sharecropping to the segregated battlefields of World War II, through the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras to today, Isaac Pope stood at the front of the line and did his part to improve conditions for everyone. Now he is the subject of award-winning filmmaker Paula J. Caplan's new documentary, Isaac Pope: The Spirit of an American Century, in which history comes vibrantly alive. Caplan's first film, the intense and beautiful "Is Anybody Listening," was focused on the chasms between veterans and non-veterans and simple ways to bridge them. It garnered many prestigious awards and was picked up by public television, where it reached many stations nationally. A typical veteran's response: "THIS is what I want my loved ones - and the nation - to know!" For her follow-up film, Caplan chose Isaac Pope, a spellbinding storyteller, as her subject. Born to sharecroppers in 1917, Pope was an eyewitness to the devastation wrought by both the segregationists in his home of North Carolina and by the Nazis. Through the power of faith and family, he fought and overcame the 20th century's stiffest challenges. He championed American freedom on the battlefields of Europe and worked tirelessly against institutionalized racism and workers' oppression at home. With his 100th birthday on the horizon, Caplan asked Mr. Pope's permission to document his story. He agreed, and the resulting film -produced by an award-winning LA/NYC/DC team --offers a compelling view of major events of the past ten decades, as seen through the eyes of Mr. Pope, an unassuming man whose inner fortitude and quiet accomplishments represent the Spirit of an American Century. It is also a portrait of some warm, enduring interracial friendships forged during World War II that present a model for today, and uncovers contemporary connections among its subjects that are astonishing and inspiring.

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