You Got To Move


A documentary about personal and social transformation, YOU GOT TO MOVE records the progress of individuals who, together with Tennessee's legendary Highlander Folk School, founded by Myles Horton, have worked for union, civil, environmental, and women's rights in the South. The film goes beyond the individual issues to the very process of social change and the evolution of leadership. At a time when so many people may feel powerless, this film joyfully announces people do count, that they can make a difference.

“What is it that makes people stop feeling powerless, and makes them want to change?  As a result of a 1980 conference given by Physicians for Social Responsibility on the Medical Consequences of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear War, it was this question that became the focus for my next film.  I went home to the South to make it because there I had seen the clues to the answers.  Some of the people in YOU GOT TO MOVE I had known for twenty years.  I had seen their process, I had seen the changes they helped to bring about, the obstacles they were up against, and their commitment for working for  “the long haul.”  It was the process of the people in the film beginning to trust what their own experiences taught them, and their growing refusal to take the judgments of “experts” on matters in their own lives, that shaped the form and meaning of the film, and which makes it universally relevant in a time when this process is taking place all over the world.”

“I felt a strong conflict in making You Got to Move between making a film for a stated purpose and letting a film grow, as a work of art, on its own terms  Often in the course of editing, (working with friend and co-editor Veronica Selver) we felt obliged to leave out the beautiful and moving sequences because they seemed non-essential to the film’s meaning.  In other words I was feeing the political filmmaker in me coming into conflict with the artist.  I respect this conflict and am always aware of it in my work,  But in my next films I would not again choose to leave so much superior material out of the film in order to be useful.”

Blue Ribbon, 1986 American Film Festival


Silver Apple, 1986 National Educational

Film Festival


MacArthur Foundation

Public Libraries Selection


Ecumenical Award,

Nyons International Documentary Film Festival