Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (2018)

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"In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it." So begins Travis Wilkerson's critically acclaimed documentary, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, which takes us on a journey through the American South to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that allowed it to happen. Acting as narrator and guide, Wilkerson spins a strange, frightening tale, incorporating scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird, the music of Janelle Monáe and Phil Ochs, and the story of Rosa Parks' investigation into the Recy Taylor case, as well as his own family history, for a gripping investigation into our collective past and its echoes into the present day.

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Critic Reviews for Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8)

"Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?" is at its sharpest and most necessary when Wilkerson interrogates his personal connection to the past.

Mar 1, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

It's hard to shake the idea that the 'live documentary' approach isn't a little more satisfying for this material, but it's impossible to deny the power of much of what's on display here.

Feb 28, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

For someone so gloomily aware of his own privilege, Wilkerson spends a lot of the film playing dumb and speculating-a writer's trick for giving shape to a piece with a thesis and no conclusion.

Feb 27, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Through this personal journey, Wilkerson accesses America's heart of darkness.

Feb 27, 2018 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

"Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?" is a passionately political film, aflame with rage in spite of its director's measured, ruminative tone of voice. It is also a horror movie, full of specters and silences and a terror that is pervasive ...

Feb 27, 2018 | Full Review…

Makes fitful attempts to contextualize the shooting within the broader murderous history of American racism, but ultimately is far more interested in expunging the director's own sense of inherited taint.

Aug 17, 2017 | Full Review…
Variety
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