Winner of the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival’s audience choice award, Ferguson Rises tells the story of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the August, 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown Jr., whose body lay in the middle of the street for four hours, most of those uncovered. Check out the trailer.
As wonderfully observed by Tribeca’s Deborah Rudolph, the film voices “the dreams and desires of (Ferguson’s) citizens to move beyond limited and all-too-common narratives of racism and division. The film reveals the humanity within the people of Ferguson, who represent all of us and the communities in which we live.
But first and foremost, the film is the story of Michael Brown, Sr. who, in the face of such a great and piercing loss, chose to find purpose in his pain, advocating for community healing and supporting other families across the country who have lost loved ones, using his platform to help them transform their lives.
Ferguson Rises is ultimately about understanding and compassion. We sit with a grieving father, with police officers, with community members who are outraged at this murder and with community members who are angry at the protesters. We see that they are all human, and ultimately, capable of growth and healing, and, perhaps, learning from each other.
The simple truth is that, in most communities, our experiences and perspectives are so different. Black, white, brown, or blue, the world looks very different depending on the lens through which it is viewed. We need to embrace and value our differences with understanding and acceptance. That is the foundational understanding on which this great society is built.
A Path Forward
This compassionate, compelling, brilliantly crafted documentary represents a unique opportunity for cities across the United States and around the world to stand arm-in-arm with the citizens of Ferguson to acknowledge their own racial challenges, declare their shared humanity, and publicly and empathically pronounce their commitment to do better.
We are proud to be working with filmmaker Mobolaji Olambiwonnu on the film’s activation campaign. Our hope is to use screenings of the film to bring communities together over the course of 2022 for honest, constructive, and facilitated conversations on social justice, and what can be done individually and as a society to develop better relationships and foster the awareness and understanding so critical to healing and acceptance.
At Tiller, we are committed to ending racism and to making our communities better and safer places to live for our children and ourselves. It all begins with a little understanding and reflection.