This Friday, in St. Louis and across the nation, the first nationally-distributed documentary about the protests, activism and aftermath in the wake of the police shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson will be released.
It’s titled “Whose Streets?” and it is directed by St. Louisan Damon Davis and Los Angeles-based filmmaker Sabaah Folayan. It’s a film very much of the protesters, by the protesters and for the protesters, challenging the norms of objectivity in documentary film and begging the audience to consider subjectivity in the media they consume.
The two directors joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh in studio to discuss the film, what they hope it will achieve and their view of the events in Ferguson, three years later.
“I really want people to take away what happened here from the point of view of the people who were in the streets, people who were demonized and villainized by the media,” Davis said. “I want black people to see this and just know they aren’t crazy for the way they feel. I hope the people of St. Louis and Ferguson are proud of themselves for the actions they took at this time three years ago.”
Folayan said she wasn’t sure what she hoped white people would take away from seeing the film.
“I don’t know if they see our humanity, whether they accept it, whether or not they have motivation or willpower to fight to have the same securities they’d like for themselves and their families,” Folayan said. “I want people who go through these experiences to know those experiences are real. There’s a huge trauma that goes with experiencing oppression and being told simultaneously that it’s not real, it didn’t happen, it’s not that bad. I hope everyone who sees this film watches the news with a grain of salt and realizes not everything you see on cable news is real.”
The film opens on Friday at the Tivoli Theatre in University City and several other theaters across the region. Davis will be a part of two community Q&As with the screenings of the film at the Tivoli on Friday and Saturday night. More information about where to see the film and timing information can be found here.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.