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DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?

Wednesday, February 28 - Tuesday, March 13

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PRODUCED, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY TRAVIS WILKERSON

Formally audacious and emotionally powerful: a meditation on conscience and responsibility, in the context of a documentary on race in the American South, as well as an exhumation of family secrets that may include a double murder. Travis Wilkerson begins with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, introducing the “secular saint,” Atticus Finch, but he reminds us that Harper Lee’s story was fiction, “whereas mine is true.” He continues: “In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” His movie is a detective story with important roles played by the filmmaker’s aunt (a Southern secessionist), by a 31-year-old local activist named Rosa Parks, by the rap song Hell You Talmbout by Janelle Monáe, and by the still-resonant words of a Phil Ochs song that memorializes white activist William Moore.

With support from the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur, and Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries

USA • 2017 • 90 MINS. • GRASSHOPPER FILM

Reviews

“...Serving as the movie’s narrator - and making the expressive most of his deep, darkly insinuating sepulchral voice - Mr. Wilkinson sifts through the personal and the political, travels down eerily lonely Alabama byways and deep into anguished history. The result is an urgent, often corrosive look at America’s past and present through the prism of family, patriarchy, white supremacy and black resistance.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“For twenty years, [Travis] Wilkerson, one of the most rigorous and intelligent American documentarians, has been making films that interrogate the malevolent effects of capitalism on the American Dream.”
– Amy Taubin, Artforum online

“An enormous story…it could be twice its seventy-minute running time, but Wilkerson’s purpose appears to be less a matter of personal history than of a personal confrontation with history - and a quest for the personal basis of political action.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker online

“Intense, mesmerizing, and heartbreaking… It’s hard not to experience DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN? and not get shivers up your spine -- from fear, from anger, and from the beauty of Wilkerson’s filmmaking.”
– Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“POWERFUL.”
– John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter