“A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks” is a 2021 documentary film that follows the life of filmmaker and photographer Gordon Parks.
It was directed and produced by John Maggio, and Alicia Keys was an executive producer. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 18, 2021.
“A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks” explores the power of images in advancing racial, economic, and social equality as seen through the lens of Gordon Parks, one of America’s most trailblazing artists, and the generation of young photographers, filmmakers, and activists he inspired. Especially celebrated for his work in Life magazine, Parks’ career as a photographer would have been more than enough to establish his cultural importance, but he was equally accomplished as a filmmaker, writer, composer, and painter.
The first Black director to helm a major studio film, Parks adapted his own semi-autobiographical novel “The Learning Tree” in 1969, and also contributed the film’s score. He then helped launch the blaxploitation genre with “Shaft” in 1970. Slant magazine writes: “‘A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks’ is a portrait of an artist whose work was so varied, impactful, and boundary-leaping that it’s hard to imagine anyone like him coming around again.”