Star rating: *****
Regent Street Cinema, London W1
Review date: Thursday 24th September 2015
Director: Marc Silver
The curiously titled 3.5 Minutes Ten Bullets (Dogwoof films) precisely sums up the essence of this documentary. Namely that on Black Friday 2012 (irony upon irony) an innocent black teenager named Jordan Davis was needlessly and pointlessly killed by 10 bullets from a white man in an incident lasting just 3.5 minutes.
The film features real life footage in the build up to the shooting in America as well as actual footage from the trial of Michael Dunn, the Software Developer charged with Jordan’s murder.
3.5 Minutes Ten Bullets is a very graphic and powerfully moving documentary. This is largely down to the real life story focussing on what appears to be a clear case of the shooting of an innocent young man. We know this because of the filming of the incident itself, the unusual amount of access to court footage, plus audio recordings of Dunn talking to his wife and others seemingly “bragging regarding his innocence”. In addition the film shows raw, emotional scenes of Jordan’s parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath at home dealing with the painful loss of their son and the unfolding of events at court each day.
It is quite something to view the innocuous, somewhat unremarkable moments leading up to the shooting – where you see Dunn and his wife pull up in a petrol station and Jordan and three of his mates, parked up in a car park, minding their own business just listening to rap music in their vehicle. We see how events so inexplicably, rapidly and fatally escalate out of control.
‘3.5 Minutes Ten Bullets’ is a shockingly vivid all to real eye opener in its portrayal of how the justice system operates, how racist white men like the “accused” think and above all how they believe they feel they can shoot with impunity and expect no consequences. What comes across so strongly is the deep emotional impact upon Jordan’s parents of the tragic loss their innocent son’s life over such a trivial matter by Dunn who simply should not have responded in the brutal way that he did. There are points of law relating to “stand your ground” rule which in a way helps you understand the confidence of Dunn and gives the film real tension as you see the legal teams arguing the finer legal points of the case.
If some people didn’t believe such things were going on or were just being exaggerated by the media this will leave them in no doubt of the reality of what has and is still going on in America between the black youths, the police and American judicial system.
The number of incidents like this allied to the unbelievable number of mass shootings (defined as incidents where 4 or more people lose their lives) – 45 so far this year highlights once again the need for some deep thinking about how best America can tackle the life ending challenges posed by the over supply of guns in America. If all the guns in America were shared out, there would be enough for 90% of the population to own one!!
Worst still, far too many men with mental health problems have access to guns which unfortunately too many have been using to take out their frustrations and grievances on innocent people. It is clear that no legislation is going to be passed anytime soon to reverse this so another tack needs to be tried. I have some ideas in this regard and will be sharing them later this month with people in America who, if they consider them to be workable, hopefully will progress them.
Following the film there was an excellent Q&A session facilitated by Viv Ahmun of Choices Consortium interviewing panelists: Stafford Scott (Race Advocacy Officer), Gwenton Sloley (Author, Youth Policy Adviser), Lauren Mercurius-Taylor (Solicitor MTC & Co), Jon Hughes (Editor of Nigerian Watch Newspaper) and Koby Hagan aka Posty (CEO of Grmdaily.com).
This event doubled as the re-launch of the Kush Film Boutique run by Marlon Palmer and was a partnership between Kush Films and Choices Consortium. The screening at the beautiful, recently re-opened, redecorated art deco Regent Street Cinema was attended by many influential and distinguished guests including Angie Le Mar, Dr Doirean Wilson, George Ruddock (Managing Director – The Voice), Jak Bubela, Judith Jacob and Lee Jasper. The next screening will be of ‘The Black Panthers – Vanguard of the Revolution’on 17th November 2015 at the Regent Street Cinema. The film is on limited release in the UK from 23rd October 2015.
The documentary 3.5 Minutes Ten Bullets is on limited release in select cinema’s now.
- Black Lives Matter campaign
- After Ferguson: policing and race in America – Battle of Ideas 2015 debate – 17th October 2015
- 3.5 Minutes 10 Bullets (3.5 Minutes can last a lifetime!) – Kush Film review and video from the Kush Film Boutique event – 7th October 2015
- Black Lives Matter Comedy Fundraiser Show – Review – 12th June 2015
- Race: An inconvenient Truth. Things we won’t say about race that are true. Trevor Phillips documentary review – 20th April 2015
- Tiemo Entertainments Funny Ha Ha Amazon Store