The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth combines documentary filmmaking with docudrama to recall one of the largest cross-border celebrations of African-Canadian and African-American culture.
The story follows the extended family of Walter Perry, the creator of these emancipation celebrations, and explores the family’s historic legacy. Featuring recently sourced material combined with newsreel, family photographs and personal memoirs, the film chronicles the life of Perry, a newspaper boy turned Freedom Evangelist. The celebration drew Martin Luther King, Jesse Owens, Eleanor Roosevelt, Joe Louis, the Ink Spots, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and many more significant figures. The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth also features interviews with former prime minister and Windsor native, Paul Martin, and Martha Reeves of the Motown group Martha and the Vandellas.
Our documentary was shot in Ottawa, Montreal, Windsor Canada and Detroit, USA. It was produced in association with TVO, by R.J. Huggins of Orphan Boy Films in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.