Set for a direct release on Netflix, new true-crime documentary Strong Island is already making big waves. Highlighting the major problems that exist in the American justice system, the film is directed by filmmaker Yance Ford, who lost his brother William Ford Jr. at the age of 24.
The story dates back to April 1992 in Long Island, New York, when William, a black man, was murdered by a 19-year-old white mechanic named Mark Reilly.
But, as a press release about the documentary reveals, the victim who was a teacher, soon became a prime suspect in his own murder. In a shocking tale of injustice, Reilly was initially never even brought to trial after pleading self-defense – despite Ford being unarmed at the time.
Highly praised at various festivals, including Berlin and Sundance, the deeply personal film is the result of ten years of work by Yance Ford, who even hired private detectives to track down the detectives and prosecutor who worked on the case.
Produced by Danny Glover and Laura Poitras (Citizenfour), the film already boasts a 100% freshness certificate on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to twelve votes. While this doesn't sound like a lot, these votes came from some of the most respected film publications including the New Yorker, the Guardian, the Hollywood Reporter and Indie Wire.
Strong Island will hit Netflix on September 15.