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New Film Shows How Gordon Parks’s Incisive Pictures of Racism Influenced Generations of Artists

Gordon Parks, A family drinking from a segregated water fountain, 1956.

Courtesy of The Gordon Parks Foundation & HBO.

Alex Greenberger reviews the highly-anticipated film HBO documentary A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Parks for Artnews, focusing on the legacy of the Black American photographer Gordon Parks and how his work remains relevant to today's politics. Directed by John Maggio, the film details how the artist pushed the boundaries of photography and what was considered "serious art" in the 1940s. Parks found beauty in the realities of Black American people and used his camera as a powerful weapon to combat the objectifying lens that often depicted Black people as lesser or undignified.

“For the first time, I understood what Gordon Parks was talking about: that the camera is a real weapon. I realized how powerful I am with a camera in my hand.”- Devin Allen
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