Lucky folk who have HBO 2 can watch "The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306" tonight at 8pm. It's an Oscar nominee this year for best documentary short subject.
The Witness is Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles who was on the Lorraine Hotel balcony when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It's a role that at first plagued Kyles, and then gave him purpose.
The 30-minute film explains the context of that time; King was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who sought only to be treated as men as part of his Poor People's Campaign. That campaign represented a shift in King's mission from civil rights to economic rights, and some believe that made him a bigger target and sealed his tragic fate.
The film gives background on the last days, including the Mountaintop speech, as well as the last moments. Kyles was with King during his last hour.
After his death, and a nine-week strike, the sanitation workers got a 10-cent raise.
Other air dates:
Feb 20@ 9:15am
Feb. 22@ 4:30pm
Feb. 26@ 5:15pm
Feb. 28@ 11:30am