6.4/10
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21 user 44 critic

Strong Island (2017)

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2:16 | Trailer
When filmmaker Yance Ford investigates the 1992 murder of a young black man, it becomes an achingly personal journey since the victim, 24-year-old William Ford Jr., was the filmmaker's brother.

Director:

Yance Ford
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yance Ford ... Himself
Harvey Walker Harvey Walker ... Himself
Kevin Myers Kevin Myers ... Himself
Lauren Ford Lauren Ford ... Herself
David Breen David Breen ... Himself
Ed Boyar Ed Boyar ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Dunmore Ford Barbara Dunmore Ford ... Herself
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Do You Know My Brother?

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Denmark

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Strong Island - A Morte do Meu Irmão See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiered at Sundance in the same week of Donald Trump's inauguration. See more »

Quotes

Yance Ford: How do you measure the distance of reasonable fear?
See more »


Soundtracks

Strong Island
by J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E.
Album: Doin' Damage
Released: 1988 Genre: Hip-hop/rap
See more »

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User Reviews

 
To be blunt: a bad documentary in spite of good intentions
22 March 2018 | by rblenheimSee all my reviews

"Strong Island" is one of the worst documentary features I have come across in many years. Yance Ford, a transgender, has credentials: He worked as a series producer at PBS for ten years; he was named one of Filmmaker magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film; he was also the recipient of a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellowship. And he produced and directed this movie which is about as personal a film anyone could ever make, a film investigating the 1992 murder of his brother, William Ford. Or, at least, that's what it was purported to be about.

Amateurishly edited, and without coming to anything remotely resembling a point, the film has close-ups of family members slowly speaking in annoying monotone, rambling on in various digressions: references to racism that seemed haphazard; discussing what they like to eat; the difficulty in coming to terms with sexuality; how their family loves each other - anything it seems except the murder investigation. It is completely without focus, mostly boring, and consequently hard to sit through. Even worse: The filming seems so contrived, and the interviewees so obviously 'trying to act,' that it sometimes seems like a mockumentary instead of a documentary. It's bad, there's no other way to say it.

I try to ask myself how a talented filmmaker could make a documentary so sophomoric and continuously uninteresting, and I come up with nothing. But I don't blame Yance Ford because I assume he tried to do something different and merely fell on his butt. What I DON'T understand is how the Academy of Arts and Sciences could seriously nominate a stinker like this for Best Documentary Feature. Weren't there better documentaries around? Even your iPhone home movie is bound to be better than "Strong Island"!


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