An autobiographical detective film in which director Travis Wilkerson investigates the 1946 murder of a black man in Alabama, committed by his own grandfather, a white American.
A silence about this crime had been maintained in his family and local city community for many years, putting up the pretence that nothing happened. The first to topple this taboo, Wilkerson sets out on an anxious journey into the heart of darkness—into the repressed, and un-reflected upon history of the United States and American racism, frighteningly consonant with the recent events in Charlottesville.
Wilkerson has been hailed as the “political conscience of American cinema”: His new film is a descent into a world where ultra-right nationalism—the belief in the superiority of whites over blacks, a calm hatred regarding blacks as nameless slaves—is something that exists in the DNA, in the collective unconscious. Continuing and to a great degree reinterpreting the aesthetics of activist agitation cinema, Wilkerson simultaneously works in the mode of the direct personal statement—almost the only effective weapon against an ideology that remains impossible to uproot.
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
Directed by Travis Wilkerson. USA, 2017. 90 min.