4 Little Girls

Director: Spike Lee

Key Cast : Maxine McNair, Chris McNair, Helen Pegues, Queen Nunn, Arthur Hanes Jr., Howell Raines, Harold McNair, Carole C. Smitherman

Rating: Not Rated

Genre(s): Documentary, History


Spike Lee Interview
on the Charlie Rose Show about the
4 Little Girls documentary
(July 1997)

Documentary Summary

Spike Lee directs this powerful documentary about the 1963 bombing of a black Baptist
church that killed four innocent little girls.

September 15, 1963.   It could have been a regular day in the life of Americans everywhere.  Instead it became a day that would change their lives without mercy.  Spike Lee takes an in-depth look at one of America’s most terrible crimes, and the impact it had on the civil rights movement.

When a bomb tears through the basement of a black Baptist church on a peaceful fall morning, it takes the lives of four young girls; Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins.  This racially motivated crime, taking place at a time when the civil rights movement is burning with a new flame could have doused that fame forever.  Instead it fuels a nation’s outrage and brings Birmingham, Alabama to the forefront of America’s concern.

4 Little Girls features archival film footage, home photographs and comments by surviving family members.  Interviews with local and national figures of the time include Bill Cosby, Walter Cronkite, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young and Coretta Scott King, as well as a rare and revealing interview the former Alabama governor George Wallace.


• Spike Lee wanted to make this film ever since he was a graduate student at New York University in the 1980s.  The first time he asked permission from Denise McNair’s father (Christopher McNair) to do the film, he was politely rejected.  Years later, Spike Lee asked again and the result is the documentary 4 Little Girls

• Spike Lee says he made it a documentary because he wanted the story to be told by the people who experienced it and he wanted the audience “to come to know and love those four little girls.”

• The director of this movie, Spike Lee, also directed these other Top 100 Black Classic Movies films: Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, She's Gotta Have It and School Daze.


•   "4 Little Girls" won a 1999 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding News, Talk or Information Special

•   Nominated for a 1999 Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Director (Spike Lee)

•   Nominated for a 1998 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Features

•   Nominated for five 1998 Emmy Awards:  Outstanding Non-Fiction Special, Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography, Outstanding Achievement in Picture Editing, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing


4 Little Girls Documentary DVD


Buy the 4 Little Girls DVD
This award-winning dcoumentary by Spike Lee
provides an important historical look at
the 1963 bombing that killed four
little girls.

Directed by Spike Lee, this documentary
features interviews with family and

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for purchase details.



Spike Lee - Director


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"4 Little Girls"
Documentary DVD

4 little girls

"4 Little Girls" is a Spike Lee documentary about the four girls that were tragically killed in a racially-motivated church bombing in 1963.

Click the above button
for purchase details.