The biggest news to come out of this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference is the showing of the documentary Stranger Fruit, which alleges to reveal the truth about what took place in Ferguson.
Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by Officer Darren Wilson and a grand jury’s dismissal of all charges against Wilson helped ignite the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
It’s always been alleged that Brown was attempting to rob a convenience store before the confrontation with Wilson occurred. The Austin360 reports the film suggests that Brown did not rob the store. Instead, there was actually a type of bartering transaction. From the article:
“…a barter type transaction that took place, a small bag of marijuana for boxes of the cigars, after which Brown decided to leave the cigars behind the counter for safekeeping before returning later that morning to retrieve them, an act that may or may not have contributed to his death. (A lawyer for the store and its employees has told the Times that no such transaction took place).â€
After the film’s showing at SXSW, a panel discussion, featuring Normandy, MO Mayor Patrick Green and journalist Mariah Stewart, weighed in with their perspectives about Ferguson.
The film, a result of a crowdsourcing effort by filmmaker Jason Pollock, is receiving praise and criticism:
“Pollock compellingly points a finger at the institutionalized racism that has permeated a disturbing number of the country’s police forces.”
— Hollywood Reporter
– Tara McNamara (@ThatsTara) March 11, 2017
“This story is undeniably heartbreaking and compelling, and while I didn’t personally love the way that director Jason Pollock presented the film in certain areas of the film, this is required viewing for any parent, as well as anyone who’s concerned about race relations in this country.”
— Movie Talk with Jake Salinas
“St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch said of Pollock’s stance on the case and the video, “What this guy’s putting out is just nonsense.”
— LA Times