Uncomfortable Truth: Utah filmmaker’s documentary aims to inspire change through transparent look at history

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A local filmmaker is making national waves. Loki Mulholland’s documentary “THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH” was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim at film festivals throughout the country.

As Winner of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Award and five Best Documentary awards, the film speaks volumes in 2020. In support of the anti-racism protests happening throughout the country and beyond, Amazon Prime is featuring “THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH” on its Black Lives Matter channel for free.

Mulholland, the award-winning filmmaker is the son of civil rights icon Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and had previously produced a film, AN ORDINARY HERO, about his mother’s life and incredible actions during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement.

In explaining to ABC4 why his follow up film, THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH, shifted from the original plan of being a deep dive into America’s history of institutional racism Mulholland said, “I got to a point where I felt like I didn’t want to do the same film twice.” After a slight pause in the writing process, Mulholland says his mother Joan suggested he take a look at his own family history. While doing some research, he was confronted with the shocking reality that his family helped start it all from the very beginning.

The film focuses on Mulholland’s family history as slave owners in the pre-Civil War south and the family’s continued white supremacist attitudes until his mother’s fight against systemic racism. “Thanks to my mother and my own research, I can say to people, ‘We, white people created white supremacy, and we must help dismantle it,” said Mulholland.

The response from viewers have been overwhelming, Mulholland says he has received messages from both Black and White Americans saying “Thank you.” “People were saying they had no idea these things happened, this should be taught in schools,” Mulholland told ABC4.

Between June 5, 2020, and June 11, 2020, the film was viewed more than 194,000 times and currently has a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Mulholland formed the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation in 2014 in honor of his mother which serves as a platform to end racism through education. 

The Foundation provides educational materials, films and more to schools throughout the country and provides it free-of-charge for them to use in anti-racism education programs through corporate and individual sustaining donors.

In addition, the pair have formed “The Uncomfortable Truth” podcast. “It’s an extension of the conversation, more of a deep dive into the history and what’s happening present day with the recent protests,” said Mulholland.

“THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH” is available on DVD or to stream for free on Amazon Prime. 

Loki Mulholland told ABC4 if there’s one thing he’d like viewers to take from the movie it is learning to see each other equally, “we have to be willing to stretch beyond what we already know.”

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Tracy Smith
Curtis Booker, joined the ABC4 family in January of 2019 as a Digital Content Producer. In May of 2019, he transitioned into learning the inner workings of becoming a news producer assisting with various shows. Curtis most recently rejoined the Digital team as a multi-media journalist in February of 2020.

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