3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets is perfectly pieced together and scored.
Review By: Erika Ashley
A solemn documentary portraying an all too realistic issue plaguing our country and society.
In Marc Silver’s 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets is a fascinatingly raw documentary following the legal battle between a victim’s parents and killer that truly reveals the heartache and struggle caused by uneducated self-defense laws and racial tension in the United States justice system. The tragedy began late on Black Friday in 2012 when four African-American teenage boys stopped at a local gas station in Jacksonville, Florida to buy gum and cigarettes. Michael Dunn, an older Caucasian man pulled up next the rowdy vehicle filled with the boys dancing and listening to loud profane rap music, Dunn requested they turn the music down to their dismay. Jordan Davis argued back with Dunn and the altercation escalated quickly, resulting in Dunn firing 10 bullets at the unarmed boys which killed Davis almost instantly. Leaving Davis’ parents to pick up the pieces, advocate, and fight for justice over their deceased son Jordan’s murder.
3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets is Silver’s second Sundance documentary success and goes in depth exploring the repercussions from Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense laws and backlash due to already high tensions caused by recent racial tensions and injustice. The film’s main focus on the court preceding and Davis’ parent’s advocacy on his behalf and for countless other African-American victims resonates with the audience. The same and similar racial injustices have been at the forefront of news outlets for the last several years and continues to be a focal point in the US justice system.
The documentary does an outstanding job at divulging the real and raw emotions from the victim’s family’s point of view as the audience is all too familiar with media portrayal of these events. Especially since the similarities between the Jordan Davis case and Trayvon Martin are so strong. Two defenseless African-American teenage boys taken from the world at the hands of an older Caucasian man “scared for his life.” The shoot first, ask questions later scenario is still a heavily debated topic amongst society nationwide. Regardless of what side of battle you are on seeing the consequences and aftermath leaving a wrecked family due to one person’s decisions will hit home for any viewer.
Perfectly pieced together and scored 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets is one of the few documentaries that has true feature film potential. Many documentaries that take on heavy and influential topics tend to weigh heavier on one side of an issue without showing the opposing view but this film does a delicate dance between both. Although it is clear nearly from the beginning that the film will portray the Davis’ family’s outlook there are instances that the viewer can teeter back and forth with their own opinion on Dunn’s actions. 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets is sure to leave a lasting mark on viewers and hopefully society as whole.
3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets has a runtime of 98 minutes and is not rated at this time.
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