(Photo: Candescent Films)
3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets, a new documentary about the 2012 death of teenager Jordan Davis at the hands of an armed and irrational man Michael Dunn, arrives in theaters in New York today, just days after the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Sadly and unfortunately, the film is extremely relevant.
How would the lives of Trayvon Martin, Davis, Renisha McBride and the victims at the historic AME Church be different if America had stricter gun control laws — similar to the rest of the world? We are a country obsessed with the right for guns rather than the right for human lives. Whether the shooter is mentally ill, a white supremacist, an overzealous neighborhood watchman or a man who acts without remorse — like Michael Dunn who murdered Davis — access to guns is one of America's greatest evils.
On November 23, 2012, Jordan Davis and three of his friends pulled up to a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. Davis and his friends were playing loud music — or, as Michael Dunn called it, "rap crap.” When Dunn parked next to the teens, he asked for the music to be turned down. A verbal confrontation occurred, Dunn claimed he saw a gun and shot at the teenagers ten times. Jordan Davis died at 17 years old. What occurred next was a complex conversation, once again in Florida, about race, self-defense, stand your ground, media and the criminal justice system.
Director Marc Silver followed the trial and through courtroom footage and interviews, gives the audience an insider perspective on the national news story. There are painful moments, like Davis’ father telling the story of hugging the body of his dead son. There are jaw-dropping scenes, like Michael Dunn disturbingly saying the shooting was “100 percent on Jordan,” adding, “Maybe he would’ve killed somebody if it hadn’t been me.”
Tightly executed, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets is tragic but profound. Silver smartly presented both sides, highlighting America's epic war of culture and ideology (at the time, we had no idea of the other tragedies to come like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and many more).
3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets opens in theaters in New York City today and in Los Angeles on June 26.
Watch BET News report on the sentencing of Dunn to life in prison below: