Strong Island (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Strong Island (2017)

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In April 1992, on Long Island NY, William Jr., the Ford's eldest child, a black 24 year-old teacher, was killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19 year-old mechanic. Although Ford was unarmed, he became the prime suspect in his own murder. Director Yance Ford chronicles the arc of his family across history, geography and tragedy - from the racial segregation of the Jim Crow South to the promise of New York City; from the presumed safety of middle class suburbs, to the maelstrom of an unexpected, violent death. It is the story of the Ford family: Barbara Dunmore, William Ford and their three children and how their lives were shaped by the enduring shadow of racism in America. A deeply intimate and meditative film, Strong Island asks what one can do when the grief of loss is entwined with historical injustice, and how one grapples with the complicity of silence, which can bind a family in an imitation of life, and a nation with a false sense of justice.

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Critic Reviews for Strong Island

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11)

Strong builds a poignant, methodical portrait of loss. Telling William's story won't bring him back, but at least it will let the world know he lived.

September 16, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

There are questions that circle around themselves, endlessly, providing no broader outlook. However, by the same token, it is that very lack of objectivity that makes Strong Island the experience that it is. It is a very tough film to shake.

September 15, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The doc is a demanding, wrenching watch; an important work, if not necessarily one you'd recommend to your friends.

September 15, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This potent film gives equal weight to complex emotions as well as bare facts. In the same way, it's not just the story of a man's death, but also a study of the aftermath.

September 14, 2017 | Full Review…

Courageous, intimate, heart-rending ...

September 13, 2017 | Full Review…

What's valuable here, in addition to Ford's visual mastery, is the wealth of context that he provides.

September 13, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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