Strong Island (2017)
Directed by Yance Ford
The 1992 shooting death of William Ford Jr., and the questions about the investigation that followed.
This is one of two Netflix documentaries nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, Feature this year. Filmmaker Yance Ford tells the story of her brother’s death and the legal process that did not convict anyone for it.
The story is told mainly through interviews with members of the Ford family and their friends. It’s a sad tale of loss and disappointment from the interviewees. Unfortunately the film also takes a circuitous route to the truth that feels intentionally deceptive. The story is told in part, spliced together with the opinions of family and friends. Then a second and more complete version of the story is told which provides evidence which seems to contradict many of the claims previously made. This leaves the documentary feeling dishonest and disappointing.
This documentary displays a lot of honest emotion, and the opinions of those closest to the story. That’s sadly where the honesty ends. Unfortunately the decision to play bait and switch with the truth really eliminates any real power from the documentary. I wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone without letting them know that the initial presentation does not tell the whole story. I give this one 1 out of 5 stars.