One of the best films I was able to experience at Sundance 2015 is 3 ½ minutes. Three and a half minutes is the amount of time that it took, for a black teen to be shot dead in the back of his friend’s car by an older white male named Michael Dunn. The documentary was very well done, and in the style of a film takes you through the trial, city response, outcome, and lament of the parents.
As a father I connected with the lament of both parents. Especially with all that is taking place in the world currently, it is hard to consider loosing a son to random violence. As a man who also lost his mother, it is hard to watch the lament of a mother who lost her son on the screen. The bond between a mother and son are powerful in the African American community, so seeing that bond shattered was heart breaking. I felt that the story was told in a positive light, and did a good job focusing on the lament of the parents. In many cases the lament is exploited early, then forgotten when all the lights and cameras go away. As an audience we were forced to sit with that lament, and deal with it.
This film is powerful when considering the movement of God in the world today. Many African American youth and adults have died daily on the streets at the hands of violence. Many others have lost their lives, without cause, reason or justice. These issues beckon Questions like where was God, and does he care about justice? In the film God wasn’t foreign, he wasn’t an enemy, or an absentee landlord. God allowed the family to express themselves, and he showed up and provided justice for a hurting family.