Whose Streets?

Documentary makers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis spent two years following the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man in 2014. Their movie focuses less on the conflicting details of the shooting or on the global movement it inspired than on the waves of protests and the struggles of local community organizers. But even through this more personal lens, Folayan and Davis take an evenhanded approach: civilians loot stores and burn police cars, whereas police officers fire tear gas and aim rifles at peacefully protesting crowds. The five “chapters” of the film seem arbitrary, though the passage of time allows for some searing moments, like the locals’ fight to keep the city from cleaning up a memorial to the victim, Michael Brown, Jr., in the street where he died.