For nearly twenty-five years, the lawyer has fought for the civil rights of black people in the United States. Director Nadia Hallgren followed him for many months in his fight against racism and discrimination. And delivers a beautiful portrait.
In May 2020, in many cities across the United States, hundreds of thousands of people are marching. Elsewhere in the world too, the shock wave is massive. Protesters take a knee in tribute to George Floyd, African-American who died of suffocation by the police. “Today, the world saw him not as a black man but as a human being, unlike the police,” slips Ben Crump, round and affable face. This famous civil rights activist is the family’s lawyer, but also that of many other victims of violence or discrimination because of their skin color in the United States. From environmental racism to banking discrimination, we must not only fight against racism when the police kill people, he says. We must fight against racism and discrimination as soon as they appear. »
“If you make them pay more, they’ll stop killing black people.”
On the same formal model as his previous documentary Coming, portrait of Michelle Obama, the director Nadia Hallgren followed the lawyer for a year and delivers a film combining meetings with the victims or their families, preparation for the defense and private life. Between two trips and phone calls, we discover the impressive fight to compensate children victims of lead pollution, farmers poisoned by Monsanto and of course the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin and Fred Cox, all killed by the police. Without power on the penal, Ben Crump fights on the financial ground of the damages. “The only thing America understands is money. If you make them pay more, they’ll stop killing black people.” he asserts. It is then necessary to juggle between justice and media in order to obtain reparation.
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