When I first saw Ezra Miller in We Need to Talk About Kevin I knew a star was being born. Actors that can capture that level of intensity and hang with greats like John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton don’t come around every day. As he matured, roles like Barry Allen in the Justice League and Credence in the Fantastic Beasts franchise showcased his ability to work over dry and hollow content vibrated through the lackluster films. His gender-queer style and recent Playboy shoot made me an even bigger fan. Then, I stumbled across this tweet.
he made a documentary about Mike Brown’s murder from the perspective of the officer who shot him https://t.co/Mmjla9ymtT— hikikomori povich (@SarahSahim) November 16, 2018
Yeah, suddenly the dreamy, gender-bent star was feeling a little hollow himself. Miller, along with co-director Sol Guy, made a film about Darren Wilson, the man who shot teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Based on this ABC interview with Darren Wilson, the film aims to understand and empathize with a murderer.
“The Truth According to Darren Wilson,” as described on the Tribeca website is, “Mike Brown and Darren Wilson have been on a collision course for 395 years. Their meeting on Aug 9, 2014, was born of centuries of violence, fear and learned behavior. Racism is alive and well in America; it’s the foundation upon which the country was born. The horror and injustice of this death are undeniable. However, our outrage and surprise, our desire to point at this murder, isolate it and choose a side reveals the comfort that we possess in holding onto the pain that we’ve been prescribed.”
I watched the movie so that you don’t have to. I would first say, this isn’t a documentary. Second, I don’t believe Miller or Sol were attempting to sympathize with Wilson. Using a lot of soft or out-of-focus images, the actor portraying Wilson is angelic in the frame. Big blue eyes and pale skinned, he stumbles over his words as he recounts how and why he killed Brown. Through Wilson’s account, the event sounds chaotic. Fast cuts mimic the quick decision he had to make. The irrational fear of Black skin is laced throughout the dialogue. It’s painful to watch because it asks a question it doesn’t have the ability to answer.
In the end, it’s revealed that Wilson was practicing the speech in the mirror. I suppose to show that this was all an act? Perhaps to express the fact that the general public will never know the real truth? Instead, we get a truth filtered through the news. I’m not sure what their goal was. Either way, it doesn’t solve or salve the hurt of the community affected.
The film is not listed on Miller’s IMDb page. There can be several reasons for that. First, the project was made in Tribeca’s “The Scene.” The project is described as, “…a new platform for actors, writers, and directors to create, collaborate, and participate. This isn’t a feature, this isn’t a short. It’s a scene, a piece of life, a moment.”
The other reason could be Miller wants to bury this piece of work. In addition to the film not appearing on IMDb, the “More From Creators” video has been removed from YouTube. In the interest of fairness, in their statement to Tribeca about the film, Miller and Guy express that after marching in the street they felt hollow. Like they hadn’t done enough. If all you do is protest, you’re not doing enough.
I’d love the opportunity to sit down with Ezra or Guy and ask them about their decision to make this project. Question the decision to end the film as they did. Since that’s not possible, I’ll end with this thought: If the goal is to bring the country together, the project should begin not with the people pulling the trigger, but the families left behind. Healing must begin with those who’ve taken the most damage. Wilson had nothing to fear the day he murdered Michael Brown in the middle of the street. He had no worries as he walked away from the courthouse, free of any guilt. Even today, Wilson remains safe and protected.
Who’s protecting Mr. Brown’s family?
Header Image Source: Getty