Whose Streets?

Poster for Whose Streets?

When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of Ferguson, a small suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy.

In the days that follow, artists, musicians, teachers and parents turn into freedom fighters, demanding justice. When the National Guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. For this generation, the battle is not for civil rights, but for the right to live.

Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. Their documentary is and unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising and a vibrant firsthand portrait of the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement. Its images are not leaked by law enforcement or stage-managed for the media, but come directly from the people who lived through the violent events of 2014. “Return to your homes!” police shout from atop their tanks. “We are home!” a beyond frustrated civilian calls back. Whose Streets? depicts injustices that have always beleaguered the African-American community, but this is a film that could only have been made now.

“Directors and activists Sabaah Folyan and Damon Davis’s outstanding and incendiary documentary about Ferguson does a tremendous end run around mainstream news outlets and the agenda-driven narratives that emerge, particularly on television.” (Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian)

“Raw and unadorned, Whose Streets? is a documentary in the truest sense of the word; an actual moving document of events fresh in the country’s memory, but never before laid as bare as they are here.” (Jude Dry, Indiewire)