strong island



Examining the violent death of the filmmaker’s brother and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free, this documentary interrogates murderous fear and racialized perception, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change.


Yance Ford

Yance Ford was a sophomore at Hamilton College 19 years ago when her brother was murdered. “My brother’s death picked up my life and put it down somewhere else,” Ford says. “I had an image of myself in my mind as a working artist, and when he died, all of that changed.” By her senior year, Ford, who made images as a photographer, decided she wanted to make a film about her brother’s death. She moved back to her hometown New York, worked as a p.a. and took a Third World Newsreel production workshop. Then in 2002 she became series producer at POV, where she screens all the submissions and runs the PBS documentary series’ open call. She still remembers the moment when, after she had been doing the job for a few years, she had a conversation with an influential colleague. “I told her that I had been thinking about making a movie about my brother for the last 16 years,” Ford remembers. “And she said, ‘What are you waiting for?’ And I didn’t have a legitimate answer. So I started the movie.”