EPIC Documentary Series - May 19, 2020

Strong Island screening followed by Q&A with the Director and Producer Yance Ford.

Strong Island chronicles the arc of a 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 race 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.

YANCE FORD | Director, Producer

Yance Ford is a Sundance Institute Fellow, a Creative Capital Grantee and featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. A graduate of Hamilton College and the Production Workshop at Third World Newsreel, he is a former series producer of the PBS anthology series POV. The Root 100 named Ford among the most influential African Americans of 2017 and the International Documentary Association presented him with their Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Yance won several Emmys while working as a documentary producer for the Public Broadcasting Service. Strong Island, ten years in the making, was shown at the 2017 Berlin International and Sundance Film Festivals (where it won a Special Jury Prize) and received an Oscar Nomination for best Full Length Documentary and an Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.  Ten years in the making, the anatomy of an injustice, it started as an intimate film about his brother's murder in 1992, but echoes with so many tales of unprosecuted, racialized tales of unarmed young black men.  The Guardian gave Strong Island a five-star review; in The New Yorker, Darryly Pinckney's Culture Desk lengthy discussion of this "powerful, disturbing, and very personal documentary" described the film as "a form of justice. 'Strong Island' is so quiet, so dignified ... Respectful attention must be paid, because grief is in the room." 

A study/discussion group series and documentary viewings, including discussions with the filmmakers.

Documentary Trailer.