Harry Belafonte’s Sankofa.org paired with directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz to create “Against The Wall,” a short film that turns a bright light on police violence in America. The project features Black men and women, their bodies pressed against a wall while audio plays from 911 calls, dash and body camera videos, news reports, Facebook Live videos and, ultimately, an actual deadly shooting by a police officer.
Belafonte spoke to The Root about the public service announcement, which features many Black celebrities, including Michael B. Jordan, Danny Glover, Michael K. Williams, Sydney G. James, Van Jones and Marc Lamont Hill:
While the militarization of the police and egregious use of force continues, we know this is a modern form of brutality from our deep and dark past. The constant vilification of people of color is not new to the American psyche. Somehow cellphone video, dashcam video and news media flashing before our very eyes, hour after hour, the murder and victimization of Black and Brown bodies has desensitized us.
By using the faces of those we recognize, familiar faces, we look to re-sensitize the community to really see the problem. The artistic community is responding to the plight of our disenfranchised. We are shining a light and calling out to all to take a look, listen and feel within your heart to take action.
Watch the short above.