True crime enthusiasts, brace yourselves: Netflix will soon be streaming a powerful documentary that will give Making A Murderer a run for its money.
Strong Island, which hits Netflix in September, is far beyond a "whodunit" type of investigation. It chronicles the story of the racially charged murder of film director Yance Ford's brother William Ford Jr. in 1992. William Ford Jr. was a 24-year-old black teacher from Long Island, New York, who was shot by Mark Reilly, a 19-year-old white mechanic after a heated argument.
The chilling documentary shows us how the William Ford Jr. shockingly became the suspect of his own murder despite being unarmed and having no violent history. It also recounts the circumstances that led to his murder, his death's impact on his family, and how the justice system failed him.
"Although Ford was unarmed, he became the prime suspect in his own murder," Netflix wrote in a press release about the documentary which has been ten years in the making. "A deeply intimate and meditative film, Strong Island asks what one can do when the grief of loss is entwined with historical injustice, and how one grapples with the complicity of silence, which can bind a family in an imitation of life, and a nation with a false sense of justice."
In addition to co-producing and directing the documentary, Yance Ford also narrates the film. He spent a decade working on it, going as far as hiring private investigators to help him track down the detectives who handled William's case, as well as the prosecutor who "unsuccessfully presented the case to an all-white grand jury for indictment".
In an interview with People, Ford says he hopes Strong Island gets the public to reflect upon ways on how to radically change the justice system.
“I look forward to having a lot of really vigorous conversations about the film,” he said. "And I welcome them all.”
Strong Island premieres on Netflix on September 15.