Sunday Matinee: American Trial [Film]

 

“AMERICAN TRIAL: The Eric Garner Story is an unscripted, hybrid fiction-documentary about the case that never happened. A mock trial with the real players (with the exception of the actor who plays Pantaleo), the film depicts the trial that would have followed Garner’s death had Pantaleo been indicted. In the pursuit of accuracy, balance and unbiased accountability, the film uses former New York State prosecutors, real attorneys and actual witnesses, all to present to the jury – in this case, the audience – the facts necessary to determine Pantaleo’s guilt or innocence. No script. Only real people and real testimonies in a courtroom setting through a cinematic lens.  In a unique, interactive experience, viewers will then be asked to vote on the charges at the end of the film via an embedded ballot.” – Passion River Films

 

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Folks, I would dare say that we have one of the most original films we have ever had on the history of this site. The description above tells you exactly how it works, but it simply cannot convey the surrealism and emotional journey that the film takes you on. I know it probably goes without saying, but it’s just so damn REAL. If there is any biasness to be had, it’s only in the fact that the film was even made. But, the evidence brought forth on both sides of the courtroom is jarring and has such a very realistic feel to it, that thoughts of biasness should really be taken off the table. As I stated before, this is truly one of the most original ways of filmmaking that I have ever seen. A full on dramatic depiction of the events surround the tragic death of Eric Gardner could have been done, but I believe in my heart of hearts that this was the exact way to get a very troubling and very serious point across.

I know it can sound corny to say, but American Trial is absolutely more of an experience than a film. The film guides you through what exactly might have happened if the justice system in our country had prevailed and did the god damn job, if I’m to be brash. And I’m not trying to give any spoilers here, but I simply must admit that the inclusion of Garner’s widow, Esaw Snipes Garner, was just about the most heartbreaking and brave things I have ever seen a person do. She is a commendable human being, and I cannot convey just proud of a person who I have never met. The courage she showed was incredible. And I also feel the need to add that filmmaker Roee Messinger may already be one of the most original minds of this generation. And this is their first feature film!

I can say with all honesty and sincerity that American Trial: The Eric Garner Story is my favorite film of 2020 thus far. And that it is going to take a lot to move the film out of the number one spot by the end of the year.

 

AMERICAN TRIAL: The Eric Garner Story opens virtually in theaters May 18-21. A live-streamed Q&A with director Roee Messinger and Eric Garner’s wife, Esaw Snipes Garner, will take place on May 21, where the audience jury verdict will be announced.

Please visit the AMERICAN TRIAL website for more information on theaters, tickets and the Q&A: www.passionriver.com/AmericanTrial

 

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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