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A Film Diary

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Watched: 19 September

A moving, powerful documentary by Yance Ford about the murder of his brother William Jr – who was shot dead during an argument at a gas station in Long Island in the 1990s – as well as the subsequent investigation, which Ford argues was not as thorough as it should have been and has as a result caused the family much anguish during the interim years. Ford often appears, speaking directly to the camera about how he feels and spelling out exactly why he feels the way he does, his face filling the majority of the screen; it’s a powerful technique that adds to the overall righteousness and anger of the piece, while appearances by other members of the Ford family are equally saddening, and maddening. By the end you’re left in no doubt that an entirely different kind of investigation would have taken place had William Ford Jr been white instead of black. The film clearly sets out the Ford family’s experiences on Long Island as well as slowly revealing details about the relationships between family members; it’s an excellent, provocative and timely documentary. (****½)

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