films were produced when Chuck Olin worked at The Film Group.
Jim Dennett and John Mason formed The Film Group, a Chicago-based production
company, in 1965.
Eight Flags for 99 Cents
for 99 Cents, a probing look at one "silent majority" neighborhood's support for
but growing disillusionment with the Vietnam War. A professional, intelligent
montage of brief interviews with America's so-called "silent majority",
indicating that, as of 1970, Middle America was as opposed to the Vietnamese war
as the anti-war movement.
The Murder of Fred Hampton
Directed by Howard Alk. Produced by Mike Gray. Associate Producer: Emmett
Grogan; Camera: Mike Gray, Howard Alk; Sound: Jones Cullinan, John Mason, Chuck
Olin; Editor: Howard Alk; Assistant editors: Jones Cullinan, John Mason;
Additional Photography: Gordon Quinn; Production Manager: Jim Dennett.
In 1968 the Film Group, a Chicago production company, began filming a
documentary about the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and their
chairman Fred Hampton. A fiery orator, Hampton was only 20 years old at the
time, but his electrifying words and actions were inspiring young Black people
to demand respect and to insist that their power and voice be felt in local
politics, in any politics. But Fred Hampton's dream included all people when he
proclaimed in the voice of the prophet, "... if we don't stop fascism it'll stop
At that same moment the FBI/CIA was implementing their notorious domestic
counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) aimed at illegally suppressing domestic
dissent and aimed especially at growing radical political organizations like the
Black Panther Party. One FBI memo stated their charge as the need to "prevent
the rise of a 'messiah' who could unite and electrify the militant black
antinationalist movement." Working with local police departments, the government
moved against Black Panther chapters and leaders across the country.
On December 4, 1969, in a predawn FBI-directed Chicago police raid, four
Panthers suffered gunshot wounds, and Mark Clark and Fred Hampton were murdered.
Within hours, Panthers arranged to get the Film Group crew into the scene and
they were able to record the carnage. The film shows vividly what the police do
to those who dare to openly, aggressively challenge government authority. In
addition, the footage of the bloody, bullet-riddled wreckage directly
contradicted the State's Attorney's version of the raid, and so filmmakers and
Panthers came together to prove that Hampton had been the designated target of
the violent, punitive raid. The film's inquiry pursues official spokesmen and
traps them in their own lies and attempt at a cover-up of a brutal orchestrated
American Revolution II
documentary in 3 parts: the Democratic convention protest and police riot,
critique of events by working class blacks in Chicago ghetto settings, and an
attempt by the Illinois Black Panther Party to organize poor southern white
youth on the city's north side.