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Netflix visits Strong Island murder doc

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to a documentary made for Danish pubcaster DR by filmmaker Yance Ford about the murder of his brother.

Strong Island will launch globally on the streamer as well as receiving a limited theatrical release this autumn.

Ford’s older brother, William Jr, a black 24-year-old teacher, was killed in April 1992 by Mark Reilly, a white 19-year-old mechanic.

The film questions whether justice can be found and follows the Ford family’s painful search for answers.

Strong Island is a Yanceville Films and Louverture Films production and was executive produced by Ford and Joslyn Barnes, along with coproducer Signe Byrge Sorensen for Danish prodco Final Cut for Real.

It features Danny Glover, Susan Rockefeller, Tony Tabatznik, Michel Merkt and Laura Poitras as executive producers, and is backed by American Documentary POV, the Danish Film Institute and DRK in Denmark.

“Strong Island further highlights the scope of what kinds of stories can be told through documentary filmmaking,” said Netflix VP of original documentary programming Lisa Nishimura.

“Yance Ford’s intimate re-telling of his family’s history of love, violence and loss is filtered through such a personal lens that each shot captures the complexity of the film’s many intersecting threads of race, sexuality, class and gender; yet the explosiveness of each of these topics in our current cultural conversation is undeniably wide-ranging.”

Ford added: “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.”

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