I keep telling myself that it was an accident. The victim could've been any other guy who came off the street for a beer, yet I know that anybody who tries to stand too long between hostile camps is going to get hurt.
- Bill Drummond (friend and colleague of Ruben Salazar)
Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle, an investigative look at the life and mysterious death of pioneering journalist Ruben Salazar premieres on PBS on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 9:00 PM.Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle examines the life and mysterious death of pioneering journalist Ruben Salazar. At the heart of the story is Salazar's transformation from a mainstream, establishment reporter to primary chronicler and supporter of the radical Chicano movement of the late 1960s. Killed under mysterious circumstances by a law enforcement officer in 1970, Salazar became an instant martyr to Latinos - many of whom had criticized his reporting during his lifetime. Adding to the Salazar mystique is that the details of how he was killed have been obscured in the ensuing four decades since his death.
Featuring material from recently released files obtained by the filmmaker, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle removes Salazar from the glare of myth and martyrdom and offers a clear-eyed look at the man and his times. The film, produced and directed by Phillip Rodriguez, includes interviews with Salazar's friends, colleagues and family members, and Salazar's own words culled from personal writings.
Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle reveals the truth about the pioneering journalist's life and death, removing him from the shadows of legend and restoring him to his rightful place in history. The Salazar story had long been considered to be an ethnic story, a regional story," says filmmaker Rodriguez. "But it is much bigger than that. This is a story about a regular guy who, motivated by principle, challenges an abusive authority at great risk to himself - it's a classic American story."
The documentary is made possible by support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, Latino Public Broadcasting, Cal Humanities and the California Community Foundation. Airfare is provided by Southwest Airlines.