Trayvon Martin film directors call out “stand your ground” laws, cite fatal Markeis McGlockton case


Directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason are giving new context to the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed African-American teenager who was shot and killed by Florida neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman six years ago. The directors joined “Salon Talks” to discuss the making of their six-part documentary series,“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” which airs on BET and the Paramount Network and is backed by executive producer Jay-Z. The series revisits Martin’s case, the trial’s not-guilty verdict, and why Florida’s “stand your ground” laws need reform.

The filmmaking duo, who won a Peabody Award for their docuseries “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” say they want the series to serve as a wake up call around racism for Americans who may have gone numb to the 24-7 headlines under President Trump. According to Willoughby Nason, the “Rest In Power” series “gives you context from Trayvon to Trump and the six years of tissue between all of the elements at play.” Furst added, “This film is more important than ever. I think that people are numb, people are apathetic, people are getting tired by the barrage of bad news and I think we’re losing a sense of context.”

The six-part series combines home videos, family photos and news footage and asks viewers to question the laws, politics and gun policies that led to Martin’s death and enabled Zimmerman to walk away without prison time.

“With all the work that we make, especially work about race in this country, I think we want to hammer home at a bigger storyline, and that is that racism is economics, racism is capitalism, that racism serves people’s pockets, and that if we continue to be divided, the lowest among us, both black and white, are going to continue to suffer,” Furst said.

He cited Florida’s “stand your ground” laws that were discussed around Martin’s case and today in the case of Markeis McGlockton, who was fatally shot outside a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida by Michael Drejka.

Watch the interview above to learn more about the making of the series and the new information it’s providing about what happened to Zimmerman after the trial. And, watch SalonTV’s full conversation with Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who played a big role in the making of “Rest in Power” and are supporting mothers and fathers who have lost children to gun violence through the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

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