Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sabaah Folayan; co-director Damon Davis|
|Produced by||Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis, Jennifer MacArthur, Flannery Miller; co-producer Chris Renteria, Jonathan T. Hall, Mridu Chandra, Patricia E. Gillespie|
|Cinematography||Lucas Alvarado Farrar|
|Edited by||Christopher McNabb|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
Whose Streets? is a 2017 documentary film about the killing of Michael Brown and the Ferguson uprising. Directed by Sabaah Folayan and co-directed by Damon Davis, Whose Streets? premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, then was released theatrically in August, 2017, for the anniversary of Brown's death. It was a nominee for Critics' Choice and Gotham Independent Film awards.
Folayan, Davis and their cinematographer Lucas Alvarado Farrar (who had been one of Folayan's college classmates at Columbia University) began work on the project in 2014 when Folayan and Farrar traveled to Ferguson, Missouri during the uprising that followed police officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown. Davis, a St. Louis-based artist, was already at work documenting the events. Folayan expected to do so via print journalism, but was quickly struck by a sharp contrast between the depictions appearing in the newsmedia and what she was experiencing in person. Feeling "we couldn’t keep up with the news cycle and maintain justice to what we were seeing", she decided instead to pursue a film project.
The project was selected for production support in a series of Sundance Institute programs: the Documentary Edit and Story Lab, its Music & Sound Design Lab: Documentary, and its Creative Producing Summit. It also won support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Tribeca Film Institute.
The documentary film focuses on seven main characters, particularly Hands Up United's cofounder Tory Russell, Brittany Ferrell, a nurse and young mother, and David Whitt, a recruiter for civilian organization Cop Watch.
Premiere, acquisition and theatrical release
The film has received strongly positive reviews, holding a score of 81% on Metacritic (indicating "universal acclaim") and 97% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewing the film at IndieWire, Jude Dry wrote, "Raw and unadorned, Whose Streets? is a documentary in the truest sense of the word; an actual moving document of events fresh in the country's memory, but never before laid as bare as they are here." Anthony Lane of The New Yorker questioned why more police (for instance the black policewoman featured in what he called "the movie's most potent close-up") hadn't been among the film's interviewees, but most reviewers praised the film as a portrait of activism, like David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter who described Whose Streets? as "an essential testament to the commitment of activists whose credo is 'We have nothing to lose but our chains,' told in their own fervent voices."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Gotham Independent Film Awards||November 27, 2017||Best Documentary||Whose Streets?||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||November 2, 2017||Best First Documentary||Whose Streets?||Nominated|||
- Official website
- Whose Streets? at Sundance.org
- Whose Streets? on IMDb
- Whose Streets? at Box Office Mojo
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- "Whose Streets? 2017". Metacritic. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
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- Jude Dry (2017-01-20). "'Whose Streets?' Review: Vital Ferguson Doc Depicts Black Lives Matter". IndieWire. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
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- Erbland, Kate (11 October 2017). "Critics' Choice Documentary Awards: 'Kedi' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 November 2017.