Strong Island

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This is cinematic intimacy in the best manner for the worst of all reasons. As fingers move Polaroids around in the frame, or faces in jarring close-up grapple with unresolved tragedy, you realize Strong Island is a state-of-mind piece, surveying the wreckage from within.

Parents say

It is that very lack of objectivity that makes Strong Island the experience that it is. It is a very tough film to shake. This potent film gives equal weight to complex emotions as well as bare facts. Variety - Owen Gleiberman Sep 2, TheWrap - Inkoo Kang Sep 15, Even when Ford strongly foreshadows future revelations, Strong Island holds narrative jolts, many fueled by shocks of betrayal.

Strong Island (Trailer)

Strong Island is a Danish-American true-crime documentary film directed by Yance Ford. The film centers on the April murder of Ford's brother. When filmmaker Yance Ford investigates the murder of a young black man, it becomes an achingly personal journey since the victim, year-old William Ford Jr., was the filmmaker's brother. Yance Ford, Harvey Walker, Kevin Myers. Examining the violent death of the filmmaker's.

In losing William, the family also lost their faith in their country, their community, and in themselves. We pick out a dozen new movies plus a few bonus picks worth seeking Find a calendar of premiere dates for all upcoming new and returning Find a list of the 90th Academy Award nominees in all 24 categories, The Best Movies of In April , William Ford, Jr. The incident started when, weeks prior, Ford's car was totaled by the driver of a tow truck from the body shop the white man worked at.

The driver of the tow truck offered to have the body shop repair the car free of charge in exchange for not calling the police. As the weeks went on and the vehicle wasn't repaired, and Ford's mother was roundly insulted by the year-old when she went to the body shop to get some answers, Ford went to the body shop to confront the shop's employees. He arrived unarmed, words were exchanged, and even as the exchange wasn't described by eyewitnesses as being violent, Ford was shot and killed just the same.

Ford's parents and siblings, grieving the loss of their family member, were presented with the insult of racial injustice to make the senseless death even worse when an all-white grand jury refused to charge the shooter with homicide, believing it to be self-defense. The documentary also places the incident in the broader context of the institutional racism of the Jim Crow-segregated South, as well as the institutional racism of the policy of real estate developers and city officials of the suburbs of Long Island "redlining" African-American families to segregated zones and neighborhoods.

What makes Strong Island a truly unforgettable documentary is how it conveys the racism of America in both deeply historical and deeply personal terms. The personal anecdotes of family members and diary entries of Ford go far to humanize and provide a depth and nuance to a crime that TV, digital, and print media rarely bother showing, especially when it's an African-American man who was shot and killed.

The emotional scars are still so clearly seen and felt, over two decades after the incident.

Sundance Film Review: ‘Strong Island’

And the relevance to today's sadly common news stories of unarmed African-American men shot and killed in cold blood is obvious. Families can talk about documentary films.

Rakim Strong Island

How did the story of the filmmaker's family help to reveal and heighten the core issues presented in the documentary? Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. See how we rate.

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support. Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate.

The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential. Learn how we rate. For Your Family Log in Sign me up. Is it OK for kids to read books outside their reading levels? Column 4 Our impact report: How Tech Is Changing Childhood. Want personalized picks that fit your family? Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids. Emotionally raw docu on racial injustice in America. NR minutes.

Common Sense says

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