Barbara Kopple has been one of the leading and most politically engaged filmmakers in the US ever since Harlan County, USA, her documentary about a miner’s strike which won an Oscar in 1977. Kopple shot Gumbo Coalition in her characteristic cinema verité style, following two renowned warriors for equal rights and social justice. They are Marc Morial, former Mayor of New Orleans and President of the National Urban League, and Janet Murguía, President of UnidosUS, an advocacy organization for the country’s Latino community. They join forces in the battle against racism.
Kopple follows this tireless and relentless duo in an extremely turbulent period in US history, encompassing the Trump presidency, a shooting motivated by racism in El Paso, the pandemic, and the death of George Floyd, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, elections, and the storming of the Capitol. Reportage material is intercut with interviews, intimate and sometimes funny family scenes, news footage and archive material to shape an admirable story on the perseverance required to effect change.