It has been almost three years since the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson led to days of protest.
Now a new documentary is reliving those tense moments. Whose Streets? brings viewers back to August 2014 when the uprisings began.
Directed by Sabaah Folayan and St. Louis native Damon Davis, Whose Streets? opts to tell the rawest story possible with no news media slants.
The director’s offered this statement via the film’s official website:
Every day Americans experience a mediascape that humanizes whiteness, delving into the emotional lives of privileged white protagonists while portraying people of color as two-dimensional (and mostly negative) stereotypes. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the case of Mike Brown, who, in spite of being college bound & well regarded by his community, was portrayed as a “thug” and a “criminal.” For this reason, it is essential that Black people be the ones to tell our own true stories.
Ferguson has experienced media colonization since August 9th; as all eyes turned to the protests, the Grand Jury, and the response to the non-indictment, people became desensitized by the scenes of chaos. The image of Mike Brown‘s tragic final moment, pants low, one shoe strewn across the street, became a meme. The victim, a young boy with a bright future, became an object of discussion -subject to apathy, judgment, and even ridicule, but rarely compassion. The dehumanization of Mike Brown was perpetrated by his murderer, perpetuated by the media, and reinforced by violent police repression of his community. This was a modern day lynching.
We are intimately aware of how we are portrayed in the media and how this portrayal encourages both conscious and unconscious racial bias. We are uniquely suited to make this film because we ourselves are organizers, activists and we are deeply connected to the events of August 9th and beyond. We are making this film, in part, as tribute to our people—our deeply complex, courageous, flawed, powerful, and ever hopeful people—who dare to dream of brighter days. This is more than a documentary…this is a story we personally lived. This is our story to tell.
Whose Streets? hits theaters on August 11. Watch the trailer below.