3 1/2 minutes: 10 bullets – Film Review by Frank L.
Directed by Marc Silver
Shown as part of the IFI Documentary Festival 2015
The second amendment to the constitution of the United States of America, ignoring variations in the punctuation and capitalisation of the several handwritten scripts, provides as follows:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.
In 2012, Thanksgiving, that great American family holiday which celebrates the survival to harvest of the first pilgrims, took place on 22nd November. Black Friday, the day that follows Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States. In Jacksonville, Florida , on 23rd November, Black Friday, four African American teenagers were at a convenience store in a SUV. It was blasting out music. Michael Dunn a forty something year old “white” man, took exception to the volume of the music. A strongly worded difference of opinion took place between Jason Davis, an occupant of the SUV, and Dunn. Dunn alleged he felt threatened, feared for his life and reached into the glove compartment of his car, where there was a revolver. He took it and fired ten shots at the SUV. He then drove off with his fiancée in the car. Jason Davis had been shot three times and died.
This documentary, using footage from the trial, from police interviews and from telephone calls by Michael Dunn, follows the twists and turns of the trial of Michael Dunn where his defence was the justifiable use of deadly force.
Marc Silver has attempted, to depict in an as objective manner as possible, the relevant events. Not a simple task where the above events gave rise to a substantial heightening of racial tensions. To a large extent he has succeeded. There is much to cause concern in the events surrounding the murder of Jason Davis. On the positive side the trial of Michael Dunn and its sequel took place swiftly. Notwithstanding the deeply disturbing racial background, it is to be lauded that Marc Silver was able to make this dispassionate film. At least freedom of speech emerges as a winner by the creation of this documentary. There is a great number of issues raised to which the interplay of the right to bear arms and the racial tension which exists in part of the United States come face to face. Marc Silver dispassionately and clearly discusses the issues for the viewer in this impressive documentary.