Remembering Philando Castile on His Birthday
Aug 30, 2016
Ten days after the troubling, live-streamed death of Philando Castile, who was shot by a police officer, the filmmakers Mohammad Gorjestani and Malcolm Pullinger travelled to be with Castile’s community in Minnesota. They filmed as his friends and family mourned on what would have been Castile’s 33rd birthday. The documentary, Happy Birthday Philando Castile, is a reflection on Castile’s life and character from his closest companions. It’s part of a larger series called The Happy Birthday Project, which profiles the communities of victims of recent police killings on their respective birthdays. “When tragedies like Philando Castile occur, the reflex is to broadcast and focus the lens on the hysteria, anger, and the shock felt by the families, friends and community,” wrote Gorjestani in an email. “Through the idea of the ‘birthday,’ we hope we can create common ground built on empathy, and to illuminate a universal truth that human loss is something that is rooted in profound grief and changes lives forever.”
You can watch the first episode of the series, on Oscar Grant’s birthday, here. Gorjestani and Pullinger make up the production team at Even/Odd and more of their work can be seen at http://www.evenoddfilms.com. You can also follow Gorjestani on Twitter. The film was Executive Produced by Ephraim Walker and Andrew Coles, and supported by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
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Author: Nadine Ajaka
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A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.