SIFF Says:On the evening of November 23, 2012, Jordan Davis and his three friends, all African-American teenagers, pulled up to the Gate Gas Station in Jacksonville, FL to purchase gum and cigarettes. In the parking spot next to them was Michael David Dunn, a 45-year-old Caucasian man in town with his fiancée for a wedding, who objected to the loud rap music they were playing. Three and a half minutes later, Dunn took a pistol out of his glove compartment and fired nine shots at the red SUV. Jordan Davis was pronounced dead later that night, and Dunn was taken into custody. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the controversy over Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, the case and legal battles attracted unprecedented attention and put crime-ridden Jacksonville on the international stage. This stunning documentary dives deep into every element of the shooting, seamlessly combining emotional interviews with Davis’ family and friends, exclusive footage of what the media dubbed the “Thug Music Murder Trial,” and, most chillingly, Dunn’s phone calls from prison to his fiancée Rhonda Rouer. By turns rousing, shocking, infuriating, and illuminating, 3½ MINUTES is an essential contribution to the ever-present conversation about race in America.
Stranger Says:This documentary is about the aftermath of Jordan Davis’s killing—the trial that revolved around the effort to humanize the killer and dehumanize the victim, the endless public debate, the media circus that surrounded it, and the survivors’ quest for justice. Though the trial is over, the aftermath is ongoing: In the two and a half years since their son’s murder, Jordan’s parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, have watched the parents of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Renisha McBride, and so many others mourn children who were callously gunned down—making this documentary more timely than ever. The element that is often missing from the news frenzy surrounding these deaths are the actual young people whose lives were stolen due to racial hatred and fear of blackness, and the families who are left behind to pick up the pieces. 3½ Minutes, 10 Bullets never lets us escape Jordan Davis’s humanity. (IJEOMA OLUO)
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