Friday, April 1, 2016

3 1/2 Minutes Ten Bullets - Film

(C) 2016 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.

3 1/2 Minutes Ten Bullets - Film

Rych McCain Nationally/Internationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist and Facebook (Like Me)

Film Director Marc Silver Breaks Down The Making Of

3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets

This interview was previously published in June 2015 but was not included in this blog

   On Black Friday 2012, four Black teens stopped at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. The music from their car was blasting too loud for a White man named Michael Dunn who was parked adjacent to them. Dunn got out and ordered the teens to turn their music down. One of the teens, Jordan Davis objected and an argument ensued between him and Dunn. The confrontation escalated to point where Dunn went to his vehicle and retrieved a gun. He then fired ten rounds into the car of the unarmed teens as they were trying to back out to escape. 

Jordan Davis
Unfortunately, Davis was hit and killed instantly Dunn obviously acted bold and brazen assuming that Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense laws would give him immunity from his heinous act. 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets is a documentary on this tragic event that give us a close look at all out the parties involved both in and out of the courtroom.

Marc Silver The Film's Director
The film was directed by Marc Silver who joined on to the project after Producer Minette Nelson was challenged by her son to use her position as a film maker to help correct the Jordan Davis incident. How did Silver get involved? He says, “I was lucky enough to be invited to meet Jordan’s parents. We spent a week together in Jacksonville and Atlanta where his parents lived separately. We just hung out and we learn more about who Jordan was and what happened and kind of just started to think about what these three and a half minutes, the time that these two cars were next to each other in the gas station, what they came to represent. And in that time, I was looking at this idea that in that tiny amount of time you could look at racial profiling, access to guns and these laws that give you the kind of confidence to use their guns. That is how we began the journey and we manage to get access to film in the courtroom and then as time unfolded as we were in the edit Ferguson happened and obviously many other cases since Ferguson, and that’s when the film started to speak back to us differently although we didn’t change anything. Then suddenly those three and a half minutes became more than we had originally envisioned.”

Protesters rally
     What did Silver learn from this experience particularly in the courtroom? He laughs and says, “Shocking. I found two things that were shocking during the trial and I also wouldn’t have ever understood unless I had been sitting and filming the whole trial. And those two things were one, that race was never allowed to be discussed in the courtroom because Michael Dunn (the gunman) wasn’t apparently racist in the moment of the shooting because no witnesses heard him say anything that was racist. Therefore, the defense lawyer, in pre-trial hearings had convinced the judge that it wouldn’t be fair if we talked about race during the trial.  I thought that was an incredible revelation. Then there became this crazy juxtaposition where we were inside the court filming, race not being allowed to be discussed, and then you go outside and everybody whether physically in front of the courthouse or on the airwaves in Jacksonville, they all knew it was about race. That revealed and element of institutional racism. 

        Then I thought the other interesting thing for me was in the courtroom was Ironically you have the seal of Florida with in “God We Trust” as if this is a hollowed type justice happening and really I just felt like watching the defense lawyer and the prosecuting lawyer I almost felt like it was a bit like being an editor. Like whoever can edit the best story of what happened during this three and a half minutes is going to win.” 

Convicted Murder Michael Dunn serving life in prison
After the first trial ended in a mistrial justice did prevail in the second trial and Michael Dunn was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life.

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