The saying "action speaks louder than words" has never been more pertinent than during the short film Against The Wall. An activist piece of filmmaking that is designed to bring attention to the thousands of violent deaths of African Americans taking place annually.
Co-produced by Harry Belafonte, THR explains that the 3-minute short was created in conjunction with the social group Sankofa.org. All in response to the climate of hate and prejudice being experienced in the United States right now.
Taking part in the film is Michael B. Jordan of Creed fame, Michael K. Williams, Lethal Weapon icon Danny Glover. And let's not forget Marc Lamont Hill and activist and CNN commentator Van Jones. The video is directed by Christopher Renz and Gerard Bush with executive producers of the PSA including Raoul Roach, Gina Belafonte and Marvin Bing.
Film Takes A Stripped Back "Less Is More" Approach
Bringing awareness to such a cause is incredibly important, but how that is communicated is just as vital. In the video, each participant places their head against a carpeted wall while looking directly into the lens. With the focus on the foreground, the back is blacked out as audio is played of police calls. During which one can hear horrific moments of African Americans being gunned down.
The film never attempts to dumb down or desensitize the viewer in any way, shape or form. It is brutal and confronting. All while hoping to offer a moment of pause and reflection. The exact intention Renz and Bush were after.
Belafonte Uses Famous Faces As A Call To Arms
The co-producer Belafonte is fighting back against the idea that these deaths are becoming the new normal. Therefore making a statement to go alongside the video.
"While the militarization of the police and egregious use of force continues, we know this is a modern form of brutality from our deep and dark past," started Belafonte. "The constant vilification of people of color is not new to the American psyche. Somehow cell phone video, dash cam video and news media flashing before our very eyes, hour after hour, the murder and victimization of black and brown bodies has desensitized us. By using the faces of those we recognize, familiar faces, we look to re-sensitize the community to really see the problem."