Shorts Spotlight: #AmeriCAN
Actor Nate Parker (Beyond the Lights) directs this emotionally gripping look at the racial turmoil that is ripping America apart at the seams. Focusing his narrative on the seemingly endless violence against black males at the hands of police officers, Parker is not shy about his intentions. Taking the stance that “all lives matter,” the film aims to put a human face on both sides and show that there are no winners in any of these incidents. The systemic cycle of racism cannot be broken until we acknowledge that human life is valuable and let go of preconceived fears associated with those we deem as “the other.”
#AmeriCAN follows father and LAPD Officer Jim Mitchell (Joseph Millson) who, while responding to a convenience store break-in, ends up having a violent encounter with an unarmed young man. While the premise is sadly one that has become common place on the nightly news, Parker boldly takes it one step further by offering some genuine surprises. Similar to the faces that appear at the end of the film, Parker effectively gives his message universal appeal. This is not merely a black and white issue, but rather an American one that needs to be remedied. Regardless of each person’s stance in the “Black Lives Matter” versus “All Live Matters” debate, #AmeriCAN is a sobering cry for the change and healing to begin. Frankly, too many lives are being lost, and too many families are being ripped apart by the violence.
Director: Nate Parker / USA / 2014 / 15 minutes
Starring: Joseph Millson, Jance Enslin, Sarah-Jane Potts, Michael Leone, Shyheim Parker, Six Reasons,