Segments in this Video

Reflection on the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King (04:21)


Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis where he supported the sanitation workers' strike. Rev. Billy Kyles, who was standing next to King when he died, reflects on that time.

Martin Luther King's Radical Revolution of Values (03:10)

In 1968, the needless deaths of two sanitation workers prompt black workers to strike, not for money or fewer hours, but to be recognized as men. King's Poor People's March was to awaken the public to the plight of black people.

Police Violence Against Peaceful Black Marchers (04:29)

In Memphis the Poor People's March is interrupted and harassed by local police, who herd the black men "like cattle." A non-violent march breaks into violence when young black men start rioting and looting. The police "go crazy."

Dr. King's Final Speech (04:31)

At the non-violent march in Memphis, police respond with violence that sends many to the hospitals. Dr. King vows to have non-violent march the following week. Dr. King delivers his "mountain top" speech in a last-minute effort to support his followers.

Dr. Martin Luther King's Final Hours (03:23)

Dr. King, hours before his assassination, talks about death to his fellow preachers. He does not believe he will live to see 40. His "mountain top" speech seems to presage his death. King does not fear death.

Description of Martin Luther King's Death (03:55)

Three men sit in Room 306: Ralph Abernathy, Billy Kyles, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Within an hour, King will be dead. Kyles describes the shooting that kills Dr. King.

Witness to an Assassination (05:45)

Rev. Billy Kyles describes the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. Kyles dispels rumors about King's death and his assassin as bears witness to what he saw and who King was.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



“I wondered for many years,” reveals Rev. Billy Kyles, “why I was there at that crucial moment.” Rev. Kyles stood only a few feet away from Dr. Martin Luther King when the eminent civil rights leader was assassinated. This Academy Award–nominated documentary features Rev. Kyles’ reflections on the tragedy—and on the events leading up to it, most notably the sanitation workers’ strike that Dr. King had come to Memphis to support. A compelling view into the development of the SCLC’s Poor People’s Campaign, the film includes interviews with Maxine Smith, then executive secretary of the Memphis NAACP branch, and Dr. Benjamin Hooks, former NAACP executive director. (33 minutes)

Length: 33 minutes

Item#: BVL40368

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards


“Well-chosen footage adds immediacy and power to Kyles’ vivid recollections  and assertion that ‘you can kill the dreamer, but not the dream.’ Recommended.” —Booklist


Best Documentary Short Subject, Academy Awards Nominee, 2009

Audience Favorite, Aspen Shortsfest, 2009

Best Documentary, Aspen Shortsfest, 2009

Audience Favorite, Documentary Short, Palm Springs International Shortfest, 2008

Best Documentary Short, Palm Springs International Shortfest, 2008

Best Documentary Short, Cinema St. Louis Film Festival, 2008

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA, Asia and Canada.