Film Reviews

What Killed Michael Brown Review: A Timely But Mistimed Documentary On Race In America

How did we get to this point in just 5 short years? Shelby and Eli Steele seek to find the answer to this question in a new documentary entitled, “What Killed Michael Brown?”.

In a country that once thought voting a black man into the highest office in the world would be the moment of overcoming years of racial animosity now sees a country as racially divided as it has ever been.

Why is that? How did we get to this point in just 5 short years?

Some will say the problem was Obama, others will say it was Trump. Shelby and Eli Steele seek to find the answer to this question in a new documentary entitled, “What Killed Michael Brown?”.

Directed by Eli Steele and narrated by his father Shelby, the documentary explores the fall of race relations and the escalation of violence in America. The film takes us back to the early days of the Black Lives Matter movement. When a 17 year old Black male was shot and killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The runaway narrative became a modern day lynching and a continuation of centuries of oppression for black people in America.  

What came next was years of media sensationalism driven by people who saw an advancement in their own personal agendas. While this documentary was scary enough to the media that Amazon Prime decided to ban it from their platform just days before its release, there is the feeling of a missed opportunity due to the fact the film doesn’t spend enough time on the culprit of this phenomenon…the media itself. 

Steele begins this film by focusing on the misinformation that flowed in the early days of the Michael Brown case. Testimonials and the response to Brown’s death sparked fire that gave life to the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement that is even more powerful now than it was six years ago. While Al Shaprton gives testimony in the film explaining that the reason why Michael Brown and Eric Gardner were known was because of the protest, one could easily argue that the reason for the protests was due to misreporting and gaslighting of the media.

At one point the question is asked why did Michael Brown’s death spark national outrage while thousands of black people are gunned down yearly and their death doesn’t receive the same reaction? Michael Brown’s death was the perfect storm of victim and oppressor. A white police officer in authority vs a black victim of oppression. Not only did the usual suspects of race hustlers jump all over this story but even the then-President of the United States and Attorney General Eric Holder threw their own molotov cocktails into the mix alleging racial discrepancy in police as a reason for Brown’s death.

To this day people still believe that Michael Brown was gunned down by a white cop while begging for his life. 24/7 news outlets and online papers repeated that narrative until the majority of people believed it to be true. So why should be we shocked when Darren was acquitted in trial? 

It is hard to knock Eli and Shelby too hard for not going into deeper detail in the exhausting narrative of Black Lives Matter as the film was completed in the early stages of the George Floyd death in Minnesota. 

What Killed Michael Brown? Does a strong job in highlighting the mindset of modern day left wing protesters as well as establishing the failures of the black community in its embrace of government dependency over independence. While the film is informative, given the events of the last few months, it is also feel the film missed an opportunity to dig deeper and spotlight a bigger issue in the community.

Even if you are not a fan of the Black Lives Matter movement, a film like this is must see because you have to understand what your opposition believes and the tactics they believe in order to understand how we got to this point.

3/5

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2 comments

  1. I submit that the prototype of this type of narrative was the Matthew Shepard murder. He was the gay man who was beaten and murdered. The narrative was that it happened because he was gay. The story became the center of the gay marriage movement which resulted in the legalization of gay marriage and subsequent perversity. As it later turned out, he was beaten and killed due to a drug deal gone bad. That didn’t matter, it worked and could be applied to the BLM situation. The activist media is at the center of the process.

    Liked by 1 person

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