Travis Wilkerson discusses Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? at the 55th New York Film Festival.
How is it that some people escape the racism and misogyny in which they are raised, and some cling to it as their reason to exist? For 20 years, Travis Wilkerson has been making films that interrogate the malevolent effects of capitalism on the American Dream. Here he turns his sights on his own family and the small town of Dothan, Alabama, where his white supremacist great-grandfather S.E. Branch once shot and killed Bill Spann, an African-American man. Branch was arrested but never charged with the crime. The life of his victim has been all but obliterated from memory and public record. “This isn’t a white savior story. This is a white nightmare story,” says the filmmaker, who refuses to let himself or anyone else off the hook.
The 18-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The five-person selection committee is chaired by New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones and includes esteemed critics, curators, and programmers.
Since 1963, the New York Film Festival has brought new and important cinematic works from around the world to Lincoln Center. In addition to the Main Slate official selections, the festival includes newly restored classics, special events, filmmaker talks, panel discussions, an Avant-Garde showcase, and much more.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.
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