Strong Island (2017)

Director: Yance Ford


Plot: Examining the violent death of the filmmaker’s brother and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free, this documentary interrogates murderous fear and racialized perception, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change.


Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Strong Documentary


Thoughts on Strong Island


ThoughtsFollowing the Ford family before and after the murder, we learn how they ended up in the neighbourhood they did, the barriers they crossed that their parents never could, and the life William was going to be having. We learn about the incident which led to the murder and how the justice system tried to reflect the crime to be William’s own fault with the man responsible for the crime let walk free. Now we see how the family continued to search for answers to why the murderer was let free, this examines this as the siblings were going through their own issues at the same time. We mostly only see how the family believe this is the wrong outcome in the Secret Jury case, but as things unfold we get to learn more about what was presented to make this become the outcome, which however hard things can be to see and hear, this feels like a case which will only be going in one direction.


Overall: This is a look at the justice system once again, we have another case which hasn’t been treated the way the family of the victim had planned, now we get plenty of these documentaries of late, each piece of evidence we get presented does seem to follow the correct path, but the fact we never saw a true trial means people will not be happy with the outcome. This fits in the idea of criminal cases not always being treated fairly and ends up just coming off like the family wanted more from the case.



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