Whose Streets?

Whose Streets?

Director: Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis

USA, 2017, 104 minutes, DCP


Presented by: Lucas Alvarado-Farrar

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Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Program Notes

After the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the local community came together to stand up against ongoing police brutality and murders of young blacks in the U.S. A month after Michael Brown’s murder, co-director Sabaah Folayan left her pre-med track in NYC and flew to Ferguson as she felt the events taking place were much more pressing. There Folayan spoke with locals, taking the time to understand the community of Ferguson and the trauma they were going through.

Whose Streets? focuses on seven main individuals as they meet, mobilize, and create a movement from the ground up. We follow the visionary Brittany Ferrell, a 25-year-old registered nurse and young mother; David Whitt, a recruiter for the civilian organization Cop Watch; and Tory Russell, a co-founder of Hands Up United. Taking over 3 years to make and incorporating 30 different sources, this documentary is a story told about and by the people of Ferguson, Missouri, a movie about the Black Lives Matter movement, and a call for collective engagement against institutions that perpetuate racism and inequality.

With the incorporation of citizen’s cellphone footage as well as tweets used to organize under military occupation, we as viewers experience the movement in real time. Whose Streets? gives viewers a new motivating force to organize and inform ourselves, encouraging changes in attitudes as we ask ourselves how we can work together to fight for justice. We are excited to bring Whose Streets? to Baltimore, where these issues and this urgency for change could not come closer to home. (Margaret Rorison)