Yance Ford, the film's director, lost his brother, William Ford Jr., in 1992. William Ford Jr. was just 24 years old when he was shot on Long Island, New York. His reported killer was a 19-year-old white man, Mark Reilly.
"Although Ford was unarmed, he became the prime suspect in his own murder," Netflix wrote in a press release about the documentary. "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."
In addition to directing and co-producing the film, Yance Ford also narrates the documentary, People notes. To prepare for the movie, Ford spent 10 years looking into his brother's death. According to People, Ford used private investigators to find the prosecutor who "unsuccessfully presented the case to an all-white grand jury for indictment," as well as the detectives who investigated William Ford's death.
"I look forward to having a lot of really vigorous conversations about the film," Yance Ford told People. "And I welcome them all."
The trailer features various members of the Ford family, including Yance and William's sister, who says that her brother was "not armed [and] not violent."
"In no way was his death justifiable," she says in the clip. Check out the Strong Island trailer below.
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