In the wake of several police shootings of unarmed black Americans, Ferguson: Life Matters goes to the hometown of Mike Brown, one such unarmed black American whose murderer has since walked free and left the Ferguson Police Department on his own accord. We are guided throughout the film by a Missouri resident who is credited as a student and musician as he addresses what he perceives to be the roots of the problems in the inner city and gives insights on what he and the people around him feel would be appropriate solutions, or at least appropriate viewpoints for assessing the issues.
We are given a glimpse of the protests happening in Ferguson not only as movements for a solution, but also as an opportunity for those who would choose to do the neighborhood harm to do just that through looting and property destruction. A staggeringly small amount of this property destruction is aimed at the police or any external factor perceived to do harm to the people of the community, but is instead directed at local entrepreneurs who have only worked to service the community's economy.
The fact that we aren't provided with much more than opinions and a bit of figurative b-roll means that this probably won't be the definitive documentary film on the subject of Ferguson's racial climate, Mike Brown, or the underserved minority population on Ferguson; all subjects touched on in this film. Instead hard facts or statistically based graphs of any kind, we are presented with the opinions of religious figures, local business owners, and even some of our young guide's friends.
The film comes to a point where we are taken into to the guide's recording studio session; not entirely necessary for providing us with context on what the film is all about. Still, it opens up a dialogue and keeps a conversation going about an injustice that is bigger than one place and one person.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Ferguson: Life Matters (2015) - Top Documentary Films
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