"Every person in the U.S. should see this."
- Ji, Brandeis University
Hands Up the documentary captures the spirit of the #BlackLivesMatter movement as it transcends state boundaries and into the hearts of millions of Americans. The film documents the stories of clergy and activists who are igniting a passion for justice and peace.
As network news framed the conversation following the death of Michael Brown, director Zinhle Essamuah took to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in pursuit of authentic stories from individuals on the ground. In Ferguson, clashes of gender and religion persist — How do clergy begin the process of reconciliation? Where do youth find hope?
With high profile killings and beatings of unarmed black people around the country occurring regularly, Essamuah questions the silence of her peers and recognize the importance of including her own voice in the film. Her search for answers leads the story to Maryland, where the death of Freddie Gray spurs protests and riots in Baltimore.
By embracing the complexities of race, justice, peace and guilt, this documentary highlights one of America's loudest rallying cries of the 21st century — a cry that will echo through the minds and hearts of all who watch: