An image from MLK/FBI.

Until he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was the subject of a massive FBI investigation led by J. Edgar Hoover—which was an attempt to undermine King’s character in the eyes of the world and obstruct the Civil Rights Movement.

Sam Pollard’s new documentary, MLK/FBI, combines archive footage and recent interviews (with the likes of James Comey) with an investigation of newly declassified files—and well-known historical facts—to show just how archaic and disgusting Hoover and his cronies were. The film does a good job of displaying how backward the country’s government was then—from an attempt to label Black Americans fighting for their rights as communists, to denouncing King as a sexual degenerate. The film is straightforward and effective in its approach to these topics.

While watching this film, one can’t help but think about the horrible underbelly of racism that exists in our country today. Actually, calling it an underbelly might be wrong: It’s out in the open now, especially during the last four years.

King will always be one of the most important and positive historical figures in America— no matter what stupid shit Hoover and his bunch managed to record (and, perhaps, fabricate) while stalking him.

MLK/FBI is now available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.