Dope Is Death

  • Mia Donovan
  • Canada
  • 2020
  • 82 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

The story of Mutulu Shakur, stepfather of rapper Tupac Shakur, combines controversial political activism with the struggle for civil rights in America. A member of the Black Panthers, he stood up for people living in poverty in New York’s South Bronx in the early 1970s. Working together with the Young Lords, these organizations started various welfare programs for African American, Puerto Rican and Latino children, and fought for free healthcare. After occupying Lincoln Hospital in 1970, they established a ground-breaking clinic there where drug addicts were treated with acupuncture.

Interviews with key figures from the late 1960s to early 1980s are richly illustrated with archive footage. We also see how Shakur attracted the attention of the FBI as a result of his political activities. In 1988 he was convicted of involvement in the armed robbery of an armored car by the Black Liberation Army and is currently still serving his prison sentence.


  • 82 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Mia Donovan
Bob Moore / EyeSteelFilm
Executive producer
Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross
Glauco Bermudez, Mia Donovan
Mia Donovan

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history

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