Independent Lens is America’s home for independent documentary film.

The Picture Taker

Premiered January 30, 2023
The Picture Taker

The vibrant life of Ernest Withers—civil rights photographer, and FBI informant—was anything but black and white. From his Memphis studio, Withers' nearly 2 million images were a treasured record of Black history but his legacy was complicated by decades of secret FBI service revealed only after his death. Was he a friend of the civil rights community, or enemy—or both?

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