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102 Ratings

Strong Island

Directed by Yance Ford
United States, Denmark, 2017


This examines the violent death of filmmaker Ford’s brother over 20 years ago, and the collision of silence, race, fear and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free.

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Strong Island Directed by Yance Ford

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2018 | Nominee: Best Documentary Feature

Sundance Film Festival

2017 | Winner: Special Jury Prize (Documentary)

Yance Ford’s astonishing debut, Strong Island, is an intensely personal documentary that details the long shadow of his family’s grief.
September 16, 2017
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Formal in its style, “Strong Island” has an urgency underlying every scene. The story is not as cut and dry as it seems. It may be the case that a little bit of distance might have helped the film, might have moved the focus just a little further back to get a more complete picture. 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.
September 15, 2017
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It’s enough of a true-crime project that you can expect a few late surprises, all of them devastating. But the film’s real anchors are the interviews and, in Ford’s case, first-person confessions, all of which feel like miniature studies of how people talk and behave in the midst of unresolved grief… The pain of Will’s death is very much present, still, and Strong Island—one of the best films of the year—is an attempt to harness it.
September 12, 2017
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