On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. It soon became apparent that the shockwaves from this event had awoken something, as I watched late night livestreams of the ensuing protests and news organizations tried to paint them as bitter, entitled, and unsubstantiated. That movement of activism and protest is documented in a new film called Whose Streets?, and now you can watch the first trailer for the film.
Directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, the film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where it was well-liked by critics, including FADER contributor Paula Mejia, who called the documentary a "rallying cry, a tool, and a reminder that during this gnarled walk forward, it’s never been more crucial for those in power to be held accountable." This powerful first preview contains footage of Michael Brown's parents in mourning, the protestors galvanized by his death, and the nightmarish militarized police force. Read the official synopsis below.
Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the National Guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.
Thumbnail photo by Lucas Alvarado Farrar.