Freedom Summer and Fruitvale Station
Nate von Zumwalt
As the national dialogue surrounding police violence continues unabated following two Grand Jury decisions to not indict officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, we turn to film to reflect on how we’ve arrived at the present climate. These three Sundance Institute alumni have already added their voices to the ever-growing conversation about the indelible connection between police brutality and race in America. We hope they will help illuminate the issues at hand in a time of grief and confusion.
Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station
Fruitvale Station recalls the last night in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot dead by BART officers at the Fruitvale stop on New Year’s Day in 2009. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Watch it on iTunes.
Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Summer
Freedom Summer hearkens back to the civil rights movement in 1964 when, despite the best efforts of local civil rights activists, Mississippi remained committed to segregation. Nelson’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival selection captures the volatile months of that summer. Watch it on iTunes.
Terrence Nance’s #BlackoutBlackFriday Films
Terrence Nance, whose stunning New Frontier film An Oversimplification of Her Beauty screened in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Festival, shares a pair of emotionally disparate shorts with a single resounding message: police brutality is real. The films were released the week of Thanksgiving with the group Blackout for Human Rights, a network that commits their resources to address the violation of human rights against Americans. Watch the films below.