July 23, 2019
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
(Dir. Travis Wilkerson, 2017) –– Live performance version*
Los Angeles premiere! Travis Wilkerson in person!
Co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum
1122 W 24th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
“In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins Travis Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed documentary, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, which takes us on a journey through the American South to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that allowed it to happen. Acting as narrator and guide, Wilkerson spins a strange, frightening tale, incorporating scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird, the music of Janelle Monáe and Phil Ochs, and the story of Rosa Parks’ investigation into the Recy Taylor case, as well as his own family history, for a gripping investigation into our collective past and its echoes into the present day. (Grasshopper)
*At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival director Travis Wilkerson debuted Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? with live narration. Performed only sporadically since, this live version of the film is a highly unique theatrical experience, one the filmmaker is bringing to Los Angeles for a special one-night-only event.
An urgent, often corrosive look at America’s past and present through the prism of family, patriarchy, white supremacy and black resistance.
- Manohla Dargis The New York Times
Extraordinary. Travis Wilkerson’s fusion of personal, historical, and investigative filmmaking is among the best documentaries in recent years.
- Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Intense, mesmerizing, and heartbreaking. It’s hard to experience Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? and not get shivers up your spine.
Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice
More than a mining of the director’s ugly family history, it’s closer to a public exorcism, in which Wilkerson personally owns up to the sins of his kin while symbolically standing in for the sins of his country and race.
- Eric Hynes, Film Comment
One of the strongest works at a chilling Sundance Film Festival. Wilkerson doesn’t offer an answer. But raising the question — at this moment when families are torn apart by what they believe America is and should be — is more than enough.
- Amy Taubin, Artforum
(Available to download after screening date)