Special Screening: THE THROWAWAYS

throwawaysComing to NYC’s Maysles Cinema today, Friday, December 12: THE THROWAWAYS

Ira McKinley and Bhawin Suchak’s personal exploration of African American inner-city life premiered at the Rated SR Film Festival this Spring. It has also screened at Film Columbia, New Hampshire, Harlem, the Finger Lakes, and the Catskills, among others.

When McKinley was a teenager, his father was killed by police. As an adult, he became addicted to crack and served time for robbery. When he was released, he found himself unable to find work with a felony conviction on his record, and became homeless. Determined to better himself, he pursued film production training via a public access television station and later used those skills to in turn teach youth how to make films themselves at an Albany community center. Witnessing firsthand the problems facing people in his African American community, often at the hands of local law enforcement, and without sufficient intervention or interest by politicians, McKinley began documenting their experience. This story forms the core of his film, co-directed with Suchak, which locates racially biased, systemic mass incarceration as the root cause of the troubles facing not only his community, but African American communities throughout the country. McKinley’s film is strongest when it concentrates on the community activist’s own history, but becomes weaker when it broadens out to try to tackle the larger challenges facing Albany’s African American neighborhoods. Still, in light of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, the themes of the film, and its exposure of the New Jim Crow in American society, are sadly all too topical, with McKinley’s attempt to bear witness to its impact carrying power.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations

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