Although Ford was unarmed, he became the prime suspect in his own murder. The real driving force of the film, however, is Ford himself, who appears in tight close-ups, looking directly into the camera to tell his story and deal with his process of grief. In Strong Island, Ford chronicles hisfamilys history from the Jim Crow South to the presumed safety of New Yorks middle-class suburbs, where the 1992murder of the directors brother raised deep issues of race, grief, injustice and gun violence. By signing up, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy & to receive electronic communications from Vice Media Group, which may include marketing promotions, advertisements and sponsored content. Are we interrogating reasonable fear enough? How Playwright Sam Hunter Processed His Own Trauma, Who Plays Kam Evans on 'Sex/Life' Season 2? Ford, Jr.,s killing. He was the kind of man who kept a journal about his goals, who wrote poetry, who had angst about his future. Strong Island The driver, 19 year old Mark Reilly, had assured William that the car would . On Sept. 15, Netflix dropped new documentary Strong Island, . We're a long way from there. shop when the shooting occurred, was prepared to testify in court that Instead, it was William, dying on the ground, and Kevin who were regarded skeptically by law enforcement. How many of those murders aren't even being investigated? Yance Fords hands shuffling the photographs, laying them out, and Yance Sr., loved New York City, implicit in that is their escape from the Reilly claimed self-defense. picked up and brandished a car door, to some laughter in the shop. It creaks under the weight of the anguish it bears. are gripping in everything they say. Its your weekend; allow us to make it better. It recounts the murder of Yance Ford's older brother William in 1992. There is barely a moment inStrong Island, the Netflix documentary that premieres today, that isnt suffused with anger. 947, This story has been shared 852 times. It is heartbreaking to hear Fords mother reproach herself Strong Island explores the details of the case, the lives of William Ford and the mechanic, nineteen-year-old Mark P. Reilly, Reilly's claim of self-defense . It's not newit's just new to you. He was shot in the chest with a rifle by My father just believed in my In spite of no evidence to suggest that Yance's brother was dangerous, a Grand Jury determined that the homicide was an act of self-defence. William was unarmed. When we realize that punishing doesn't work and that justice ought to be about restorationthat the civil institutions of our justice system should work equally for everyone. All families have their own stories; the Fords' story is one of bloodshed. protective her brother was, and that she was the first person to tell Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-seventh Street, Manhattan. STRONG ISLAND chronicles the arc of the Ford family; Barbara Dunmore, William Ford and their three children, and how their lives have been shaped by the enduring shadow of race in America. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. comfort one another. UsefulNotes/Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Highlights from the week in culture, every Saturday. In Strong Island, Bringing a Murdered Brother Back to Life By Julia Felsenthal September 15, 2017 In 1992, an unarmed 24-year-old Long Island man named William Ford, Jr., was shot and. Ford observes to the camera, William Ford, Jr., became the prime suspect Available on: Netflix. Netflix just dropped another true crime documentary. Yance Fords documentary is about Sam Fragoso is the host of Talk Easy, a weekly podcast of conversations with filmmakers, writers, musicians, journalists, and, once, his mother. After an argument over the delays, He regrets not coming out to his brother before he died, not being able to show him who he really was. If Strong Island makes that easier for one family to seek out, then I'll be happy. All Rights Reserved. , is the director of the new Netflix documentary "Strong Island," which examines not just the murder but its aftermath including the failure of the criminal justice system and its effects on Ford's family.. Yance Ford was a 19-year-old art student when his brother was killed. Its impossible to ignore who the surviving Fords in testimony of black parents concerning the talk they must have with their William was a protective older brother; a Howard University student; an aspiring corrections officer struggling to lose the 25 pounds that would allow him to pass his physical. Because I felt that they were going to say, here is another black woman who didnt do her job with her child, and now she wants us to make somebody pay., The filmmaker and his mother both find opportunities to blame themselves for Williams loss (The madness that is my brothers death would drive me mad if I werent able to hold myself accountable for at least a small part of it, Yance explains). Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy. VICE: Watching the film again reminded me of how uniquely affecting it is. I'm not gonna use that word again!'". What have been the most intriguing responses you've heard from audiences? The entire feature is a personal journey for the filmmaker, who has had to endure years of pain because of their brother's death, which has received no justice at all despite the seemingly obvious murder. 'Yellowstone' Return Date Info, Savannah Guthrie Rushed Out Of 'Today' After Testing Positive For COVID-19 During Live Broadcast, Where Is Hoda Kotb? The 1967 film Guess Whos Coming to Dinner starred Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton as a ne, Tessa Thompson Talks Going To Couples Therapy With Michael B. Jordan. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. City, William Ford, Jr., a twenty-four-year-old man, was shot and killed I don't want to say that I'm not optimistic, but I don't think that optimism is in my toolbox of feelings, honestly. Her son had By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Reilly had William Jr., the Ford's eldest child, a black 24 year-old teacher, was killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19 year-old mechanic. William Ford, a black man, was shot and killed at the age of 24 by a 19-year-old mechanic named Mark Reilly, at the auto shop where Ford's girlfriend's car was being repaired. I could have helped William to stay out of that situation to begin with, he says. Williams murder wasnt prosecuted because the grand jury decided that Mark Reilly shot him in self defense on that fateful night in 1992. 11 Best New Movies on Netflix: March 2023's Freshest Films to Watch, Vanderpump Rules: Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix Break Up After He Reportedly Cheated With Raquel Leviss, Sex/Life Season 2: Adam Demos Tops His Famous Full Frontal Moment With, Uh, Tip, New Movies on Streaming: 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' + More, 'Next In Fashion' Season 2 on Netflix: Follow the Designers on Instagram, 'Wheel of Fortune' Gets Awkward as Pat Sajak Snaps at Contestant for Grabbing Wheel: "Don't Touch That", Is 'Yellowstone' On Tonight? before, and a deal was struck whereby the auto shop would fix the damage As the Fords made their way in New York, Yance makes sure the audience doesnt lose sight of the kinds of poverty and injustices they issued even from the comparably evolved northeast of the country. All rights reserved. When I spoke with Yance by phone, he. Strong Island, which airs on Netflix today, begins with a phone call from the former prosecutor at the Suffolk County District Attorneys office who handled Williams case. real-estate developers in Central Islip were looking for black The great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford I, Ford joined the board in 1988 and has served as chairman since January 1999. Who married John Ford's daughter? Yance's journey (I can use it) has been a long one. Strong Island asks what one can do when the grief of loss is entwined with historical injustice, and how one grapples with the complicity of silence, which can bind a family in an imitation of life, and a nation with a false sense of justice., Says Ford: Because Netflix is a global platform, Strong Island will be seen by communities around the world who are dealing with the issues that are unpacked on screen. 2,297, This story has been shared 2,248 times. What happened in 1992 was the murder of Yances We want to hear from you! William Ford, Sr., Yance Ford: I was at Sundanceit was maybe our second screeningand someone in the audience during the Q&A said she'd been in the Bronx ADA's office for 18 years, and that in her opinion, something very wrong happened with this case. He lives in Los Angeles. tells a grand jury is crucial. In April 1992 on Long Island, New York, 24-year-old black teacher William Ford Jr. was killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19-year-old mechanic. passing on of necessary survival techniques. Strong Island questions whether justice can be found, through the intimate story of the filmmaker's brother who was lost to gun violence, and the family's painful search for answers. In April 1992, black 24-year-old teacher William Ford Jr. was gunned down by Mark Reilly, a white 19 year-old mechanic. When Will 'Attack on Titan' Season 4, Part 4 Air? he was frightened of Ford, a short but stocky young black man. "Mark Reilly already said everything he had to say to me when he shot and killed my brother." Ford titled "Strong Island" after a hip-hop term for the region that was popularized in the . In the same way, its not just the story of a mans death, but also a study of the aftermath. A white assistant district attorney in Brooklyn had schools, because, in reality, the public schools werent good enough, Yance Ford was motivated to make Strong Island after being unhappy with the way the murder was handled by authorities. her that she was pretty. There's an immediacy to Yance Ford's chilling investigation "Strong Island" that runs the spectrum from bracing to uncomfortable. The film is a form of justice. become frustrated as a customer, forgetting all about inherited white The house had a stillness unlike anything Ive ever felt in my life, Barbara remembers of the aftermath of her sons death. To revisit this article, select My Account, thenView saved stories, To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories, On April 7, 1992, in Central Islip, a Long Island suburb of New York Dont talk back; above all, Although Ford was unarmed, he became the prime suspect in his own murder. The shops owner had a record of running The generational exchange that was once other. William and Yances younger sister Lauren Ford remembers how The film will launch globally on Netflix and in limited theatrical release in the fall. Screen Slate 2010-2023. His work has appeared in NPR, Vanity Fair, and Playboy. probably get up and go. Racism is character assassination. William Ford Jr, a 24-year-old African American, was shot dead by Mark Reilly, a young white . Fans Fuming Over Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings' Hosting Schedules: "I Want Ken Full-Time". He died before Yance for encounters with the police. It was like all the sound had left the world., It calls to mind a line in Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Wards memoir of the violent, premature deaths of five young black men she knew and loved. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA Enterprise and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Strong Island tells either of a racist coverup or of the racism that I became very angry with myself because at one point I began to cry. You don't like being the focus of the conversation. The powerful and very personal documentary Strong Island is the story of a black family that could not sustain the blow of racial injustice and fell apart. . What do you do when the The painful, intimate story of grief to follow focuses on the life and sudden death of Yance's older brother Williammurdered in cold blood in 1992 at the age of 24. I'm worried. held onto Fords girlfriends car for longer than the couple had physical threat they were. In an appropriation of true crime style, details and testimonies are shuffled around to increase curiosity and unveil late revelations, some of which are devastating. . Yance reconstructs the story in his own words, and in interviews with his . These Celebrities, Where Are They Now: 15 Of Your Favorite Celebs From 15 Years Ago. college graduations, and photographs from the nineteen-seventies and All the essentials: top fashion stories, editors picks, and celebrity style. Detectives seemed only interested in asking the friend how much he A Yanceville Films and Louverture Films production, Strong Island was produced by Ford and Joslyn Barnes and was co-produced by Signe Byrge Srensen for Final Cut for Real. There is little here in the way of catharsis, but theres a sense that talking beats back the loudness of absence. What We Know About Her Continued 'Today Show' Absence, 'Jeopardy!' Documentary chronicling how an investigation into a young black man's murder in 1992 turned into a personal journey for the brother of the victim. Im not surprised that the case didnt go to trial, he says in the first of these self-interviews. inside themselves, away from family connection. There is no hint of Rodney King or the from the last pages of William Ford, Jr.,s journal, and from his Strong Island are: Barbara Dunmore Ford, Lauren Ford, and Yance Ford Strong Island is an American 2017 true-crime documentary film directed by Yance Ford . "Strong Island" tells the story of the murder of 24-year-old Ford, a black teacher killed by a white 19-year-old mechanic named Mark Reilly in Long Island in 1992. Ford and Reilly were never alone in the shop; Ford was Reilly had been recruited by Thomas Datre who ran an auto repair garage called Super Stang within five blocks of Yance's house. S, Welcome to Love Like This?, a romance column where we, Kathleen Newman-Bremang and Ineye Komonibo, revisit some of the most romantic or not, in hindsig, Whether its the iconic early-aughts film Love Dont Cost a Thing or her 2021 Netflix hit Resort to Love, Christina Milian has solidified herself in th, This story contains spoilers for Netflixs You People. Barbara Dunmore Ford remembers that In April 1992, on Long Island NY, William Ford Jr., a black 24 year-old teacher, was killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19 year-old mechanic. Read more about us. How Black Lives Matter Is Resisting Trump. I don't know if we'll see it in my lifetime, that's for sure. had been neighborly; for her, Islip was moving back into a segregated gangsta rap of that time, 1992, the year of William Ford, Jr.,s death. And if we're going to focus on me as a transgender African American, then we need to extrapolate from the violence that's perpetrated against trans women of color especially: How many of those murders have gone unsolved?