In July 1997, Spike Lee was preparing for an Oscar-qualification run of his documentary 4 Little Girls — about four Black girls killed in a 1963 Birmingham Baptist Church bombing — when he got an unexpected call from the FBI.
“They wanted to see the film,” Lee recounted last week during a Q&A about his new film Da 5 Bloods.
Lee said that the day after 4 Little Girls completed its run at Film Forum in New York City, the FBI “opened the case again.”.
As Lee explained, the FBI had known within a week of the 1963 bombing who was responsible — “one of the guy’s nickname was ‘Dynamite Bob,'” he noted — but didn’t bring charges.
Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry were both convicted in the bombings — Blanton in 1997 and Cherry in 2002, the New York Times reported.
One church volunteer who remembered the bombing noted that convictions after 37 years “isn’t the same thing as justice.
4 Little Girls was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. »