INDIEWIRE Sundance: "Strong Island" one of the 12 Best Movies of the 2017 Festival, January 30, 2017 . Strong Island becomes a steady stream of revelations perfectly timed to completely transform everything we have just learned. Though this is his film, he’s interrogated by his own camera, questions his own answers, doubts himself, and even gets irritated at being forced to admit his own failings. It brings a fatalistic cast to a story whose disturbing facts more than earn it. Most compelling of all, Strong Island examines Yance himself, a transgender man who struggled with his sexual identity throughout his time at Hamilton College, which overlapped with his brother’s death. Strong Island Clothing Co, Portsmouth: See reviews, articles, and photos of Strong Island Clothing Co, ranked No.23 on Tripadvisor among 23 attractions in Portsmouth. We feel the burden of being survivors, especially for the children’s mother, whose personal history dominates the film. Ford can’t remain an impassive observer and there’s a brilliant dissonance between the attempted objectivity of his phone calls to the major players 20 years later, and his angry, sad reactions to what they say. Therein lies its undeniable power. A film about a systemic injustice that seems all the crueler for how vividly it depicts the personal effect of that injustice. We want to comfort him through the screen. he anatomy of the murder of a black man in America is sadly a film format we’ve become accustomed to. Ford shoots his subjects straight on in a formally composed manner that gives them the aspect of painted figures. Netflix's 'Strong Island' is a portrait of one family's loss and grief. William Ford Jr. was shot and killed on April 7, 1992, an incident at the center of the documentary “Strong Island.” Something deep inside his family also … If we can’t bear to be exposed to racism, and the ways in which it’s structurally enshrined in the US justice system and experienced every day in the tiniest ways, he invites us to walk out and stay in a bubble. The film presents intense, sometimes uncomfortable to-camera testimony, especially from Yance himself. One moment Strong Island is an investigation, the next a personal essay in grief: the combination is a complicated form of documentary few could pull off. Yance Ford has directed a movie about the death of his brother that distills this kind of frustration into something heartbreaking, but that's what makes it a vital and powerful film. Watch all you want. Embed review. With this cinematic memoir, Ford became the first openly transgender director to win an Emmy and earn an Oscar nomination. Synopsis 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. and the Terms and Policies, Ford’s film shows how impossible it was for his mother to pursue justice at the time, and even now, Yance himself is mostly ignored by the authorities, as he tries to find some sense of respect for his family. What Ford is trying to do with Strong Island is make his family's history visible once again, to give it the clarity and focus that were taken away. Yance Ford’s extraordinary documentary on the murder of his brother is part journalistic examination, part devastating essay on grief for one black US family, Last modified on Mon 19 Jun 2017 11.57 BST. Ford grew up as a woman but more recently transitioned as a man. There’s something different about Strong Island, however, a film characterised by raw emotion and calm anger, which must surely be considered one of the finest documentaries of 2017 already. First to Review. Watch Now on Netflix. Sign up here. You simply can't stop watching, listening, empathizing. The anatomy of the murder of a black man in America is sadly a film format we’ve become accustomed to. In his documentary Strong Island, Ford offers a remarkable, incisive examination of his own family history, harnessing a long-gestating grief and channelling it into an emotionally draining but vital piece of work. It feels authentic, unrehearsed and painful. The indifference shown to her at the grand jury, and her treatment by the police, as if she were the mother of a criminal rather than a victim, are repeated more than once. Strong Island review: a haunting memento of institutional racism and personal grief ... Strong Island is as much an exploration of the filmmaker’s identity and feelings surrounding his brother’s murder as it is a loving, even-handed portrait of William. It's deceptively simple, but it does so much so well. Through this process, the wounds of the past might be healed. t's a slightly unfocused work... but its rawness is part of its strength. This provocation is brilliant, and typical of a documentary that works both as a reality check for conservatives and a complacency check for liberals. Ford excavates this past as a simultaneous act of … Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. This compelling personal story also takes on institutional racism and the justice system in a way that can't be ignored. It’s taken for granted that when William Ford was murdered, the police and courts cared very little. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy Review: An intimate look at race, injustice and murder in the chilling documentary ‘Strong Island’ Snapshots of director Yance Ford’s family from the documentary “Strong Island.” (Netflix) The movie has problems, of course; very few movies have absolutely no problems. Unlike a typical investigative doc, we feel deeply the burden of the storyteller, who tries to make sense of a personal tragedy and in doing so exposes a greater pain for us all to connect with. One of the most poignant and intimate documentaries I've ever seen. It's heartbreaking by the end...It's just really, really powerful. Plot Summary | Add Synopsis There’s something different about Strong Island, however, a film characterised by raw emotion and calm anger, which must surely be considered one of the finest documentaries of 2017 already. is in the midst of a deep and unresolved crisis over racial politics. JOIN NOW. October 10, 2017 . The forces of family, grief and racial injustice converge in this Oscar-nominated documentary exploring the murder of filmmaker Yance Ford's brother. Strong Island. Ford excels, and shows us why we should be angry at America’s indifference to dead black men. Strong Island, a documentary chronicling the 1992 murder of first-time filmmaker Yance Ford's brother, William Ford Jr., and the effect it had on him and his family, incorporates the dynamics of a police-like procedural and gut-wrenching, upfront, self- confession. For all its raw pain, Strong Island is also a scrupulously shaped work, one of striking compositions and juxtapositions, its faces and revelations presented with artful, thoughtful rigor. All rights reserved. Despite clear evidence indicating who had killed William, a grand jury decided there was no case to answer. Ford uncovers a clarity of some sort, but it takes him into darkness – we feel his sinking feeling when he discovers that the blame he’d apportioned himself over the decades is, sadly, based in some reality. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Beautifully shot and full of subtle nuances, Strong Island is intriguing throughout. NYFF 2017: American Made With Mixed Success. strong island message Proudly independent, our ethos is to quite simply be the best resource to promote, showcase and inform people about Portsmouth and Southsea’s arts & cultural scene. "Strong Island" is both personal memoir and factual investigation into the sketchy circumstances under which his brother was murdered, seemingly in cold blood, by a white car mechanic. The excellence of Strong Island is that it captures a family dynamic and intensity that is normally hard to depict. 7/21/2012. This is the story of Yance and his family, but it tells a bigger story, intelligently and with immaculate timing, for a US that (as seen in fellow Sundance documentary Whose Streets?) The Film follows Yance Ford as he investigates the murder of his brother... .View more! Strong Island is so supreme in its presentation that it immediately grabs your attention and never lets go. Time was … Ford family photograph from Strong Island. Check out Strong Island (2017) movie review, rating & box Office. It would be too simplistic to call it brave. Formal in its style, "Strong Island" has an urgency underlying every … Strong Island is an American 2017 true-crime documentary film directed by Yance Ford. The deliberate pacing of “Strong Island” goes against the grain of many charged-up modern procedural documentaries. For all her high standards and the race-blind teaching of her children, she angrily laments the pointlessness of it all, when she is still disrespectfully labelled a black parent who couldn’t control their child. An emotionally gut-wrenching film memoir. In all its glory, Strong Island is as intimate as documentaries get. You simply can't stop watching, listening, empathizing. Yance [uses] the contours of the memoir to finally give his brother the justice that he was denied all those years ago. "Strong Island" is both confessional and confrontational.... Yance's storytelling style is particularly shrewd and compelling. 2 photos. Share review. Both a personal documentary and a profound meditation on race in America, Strong Island ... takes the viewer on a harrowing journey through crime and lack of punishment. Director Yance Ford sets out to correct the narrative about her murdered brother. Ford warns us at the start that if we’re worried about being uncomfortable about the killing of a black man, we should leave the cinema. The biggest problem with Strong Island - but oof, what a terrible way to frame it. Building from his parents’ meeting and marriage in 1965, Ford uses intimate interviews alongside joyful family photo album inserts. Ford's building blocks are familiar, but this is no call-to-action film or how-to guide for getting answers and moving on. Tara Martinez. Only a handful of autobiographical films rise beyond trivia or personal angst to be as powerful as Strong Island...finds context and meaning to tell larger American truth. STRONG ISLAND, a documentary made by Ford's younger brother, discusses the deep emotional scars his family suffered in the years after the incident, a suffering that led to a kind of disintegration of his hardworking suburban middle-class family. Ford is so gifted at taking old photographs and interviews and making a movie that is always beautiful to look at. by Tara Martinez. 2 photos . Start your review of CrossFit Strong Island. We can’t look away from him. I started going to cfsi with about 2 years of crossfit experience under my belt but I never trained in a real crossfit setting until this summer. Ford demands our attention, even when he or his family admit to being less than perfect, or to laying out truths audiences might find difficult and complex. "Strong Island" review: a haunting memento of institutional racism and personal grief, by Sophie Brown, January 31, 2017. Unlike a typical investigative doc, we feel deeply the burden of the storyteller, who tries to make sense of a personal tragedy and in doing so exposes a greater pain for us all to connect with. Review – Strong Island September 16, 2017 September 21, 2017 Daniel Hart 0 Comments black families, Cases, court, death, Documentary, Feature, Film, filmmaker, injustice, Jr, Movie, Murder, pain discrimination, personal journey, Racism, Review, Strong Island, Sundance Film Festival, William Ford, Yance Ford. 40 reviews. Sundance Film Review: ‘Strong Island’ Yance Ford has made a haunting cinematic memoir, but as an exploration of his brother's 1992 murder it's more meditation than investigation. Copyright © Fandango. Families are complicated, alternately joyful and painful, even without a tragic situation like this one. Forgot your password? A black male body counted for nothing, especially in effectively segregated 1990s Long Island. The film centers on the April 1992 murder of Ford's brother William, a 24-year-old African-American teacher in New York, who was killed by Mark P. Reilly, a 19-year-old white chop shop mechanic. It works. ROGER EBERT "Strong Island" Included in Festival Wrap-Up, by Walker King, January 30, 2017. But that is its strength: audiences can relate on a personal or a political level. The open-ended conclusion to Strong Island represents an ongoing struggle and a wound that cannot possibly heal, but one that leaves a scar to be remembered, respected and ultimately never repeated. Film Reviews STRONG ISLAND: A Haunting Look At Loss, Race & The Justice System. Tara Martinez is a New York-based writer with a passion… Read Next. Strong Island movie reviews & Metacritic score: In April 1992, on Long Island NY, William Jr., the Ford's eldest child, a black 24 year-old teacher, was killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19 year-old mechanic. I was speechless for a few hours after watching this compelling documentary about injustice and its effect. 4 friends. Be it past, present or future we’ll do our best to keep you up to date with photos, videos, interviews and features about the city and it's people. Strong Island is so supreme in its presentation that it immediately grabs your attention and never lets go. But their world was turned upside down when brother William Jr was shot dead at a local garage after a petty argument. Chris R. Queens, United States. strong island message Proudly independent, our ethos is to quite simply be the best resource to promote, showcase and inform people about Portsmouth and Southsea’s arts & cultural scene. One of the rare films to embrace the full literary possibilities of the cinematic medium, in which the images conjured inside the mind can be just as vivid as the ones seen by the naked eye. Over 20 years later, Ford returns to the night of the killing and its subsequent apathetic investigation, and examines how the family responded to the killing and why nothing was the same afterwards. "The police had turned my brother into the prime suspect in his own murder." [Full review in Spanish]. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! The camera is tight and unflinching on Ford’s face as he shares his deepest pain, which draws the audience closer. The excellence of Strong Island is that it captures a family dynamic and intensity that is normally hard to depict. The documentary won’t bring William Ford back, and it may give Yance Ford some catharsis, but more importantly it could and should lead to greater justice and empowerment. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. 2017 TV-MA 1h 47m Documentary Films. Growing up in Long Island, New York, director Yance Ford and his family lived a pleasant suburban life. It’s a form of narration, but not an over-planned, film-maker voiceover. Be it past, present or future we’ll do our best to keep you up to date with photos, videos, interviews and features about the city and it's people. Don't have an account? 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