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P.O.V.;Passin' It On

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A vivid documentary, Passin’ It On is a swift-paced, engrossing chronicle of the Black Panther Party, focusing on one member in particular, Dhoruba Bin Wahad. Wahad was imprisoned for a little more than 19 years for the 1971 murder of two New York policemen, a crime he says he did not commit. Freed in 1990, Wahad takes us on a tour of some of the neighborhoods the Panthers operated in during the late ’60s and early ’70s, and in the process summons up the history of this complex, confusing, much misunderstood civil rights organization. (The great book about the New York chapter of the Panthers is Murray Kempton’s The Briar Patch — check it out.) The gratifyingly complex Passin’ It On, directed by John Valadez, is part of the P.O.V. series, which is having a particularly strong summer. A