- Category: Coming Soon
- Published: Saturday, 27 August 2022 14:10
Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016, and his life changed forever as did the world around us. The award-winning documentary feature KAEPERNICK & AMERICA examines America's ongoing racial turmoil since the football player's protest. Watch the new trailer for the feature coming to streaming On Demand Friday, September 2.
The film by Tommy Walker & Ross Hockrow includes conversations with Don Lemon, DeRay Mckesson, Pam Oliver, Steve Wyche, Nate Boyer, Hue Jackson, and April Dinwoodie
It was the summer of 2016, an election year with unrest rumbling through America. There were countless triggers – the murder videos of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling, the counterpunch of Alt-Right and Fake News, Black Lives Matter, Russian meddling – a discordant national cauldron ready to boil over. It was the birth of Trumpism, but no knew it yet.
Then, Colin Kaepernick took a knee and America lost its mind. Kaep’s knee touched down on the divide between America’s Black and white tectonic plates, creating an earthquake in the eternal race debate. The aftershocks of his singular gesture have already rippled through our country for years.
Kaepernick himself answered any and all thoughtful questions for a time, then stopped talking. And the resulting quiet has allowed for a thoughtful examination of the man and his story. It reveals layer upon layer of surprises and contradictions. Raised in a white family, he became a Black quarterback, while in fact, he is an adopted, biracial man. Inherently shy, he became the center of attention. The man everyone was talking about was mostly silent. He took a stand by taking a knee.
Kaepernick & America examines the man and his protest, exploring the remarkable conflict stirred by such a simple gesture.
"As a Black man, the Kaepernick saga captivated me from the start. It raised so many of the core issues that Black people deal with every day in America. And yet, the experience of Blacks in America is not monolithic. While Kaepernick knelt in a football uniform in San Diego, another Black man wearing a military uniform stood nearby and proudly sang the national anthem. We are all different as are our American journeys."
"There are more than a thousand Black men in the NFL, but the one who protested had a singular journey that led him to make the choice. His racial history is complicated. His mother is white, his father is Black and his adoptive parents are both white. How did this particular set of social and societal influences lead a young superstar to put everything at risk?"
"The film we have made seeks to discover the parallels between the life and activism of Colin Kaepernick and the tumultuous and divisive factors that have colored America’s racial divide. It is only partly about Kaepernick, as it actually reveals more about America, the land that reacted so profoundly to such a simple gesture. Kaepernick’s protest held up a mirror to a large portion of the public and millions didn’t like what they saw. The young man stood his ground in the face of the brutal backlash, continuing his protest for twenty consecutive weeks. Somehow, with his right knee on the field and his arms passively crossed in front of him, he managed to point a finger at injustice without saying a word."
– Tommy Walker, Director (May 2022)