Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?



Travis Wilkerson

USA 2017 – 90 min – English

German Premiere

B+DOP+E+S: Travis Wilkerson
P: Creative Agitation



Wilkerson narrates the story of two families, one white and one black, and it’s one hell of a story. The filmmaker’s great-grandfather, S.E.Branch, shot a man named Bill Spann one Alabama night in 1946. Although he was charged with murder, Branch never served a day in prison. Wilkerson frames his masterful film as a murder-mystery
investigation into this family secret, returning to his hometown for the first time in 20 years to uncover the truth. On the way, the road diverts – clearly, it’s not a detour – to an oral history of southern racism, amounting to a ghost chronicle of haunted places where time has stood still.
Radical filmmaking demands radical aesthetics, and Wilkerson, delivering the angry voiceover himself, mostly films his landscapes and interview scenes in stark black and white, deviating for lengthy travelling shots painted in red, camera pointed out the front window of his car, as he drives the Alabama highways on a search that comes to threaten his own safety. Spann’s life and death is shown to be atypical among southern blacks in the 1940s, but as with all good historical inquiries, Wilkerson’s point is in the here and now. As young blacks are gunned down by police without incrimination on a
frequent basis, Wilkerson’s incredibly powerful film speaks volumes to the present, and demands that we never forget. (Mark Peranson)

friday 6 oct 10.30 p.m. werkstattkino

Travis Wilkerson   * 1969 in Denver, USA. American independent film director, screenwriter, producer and performance artist. Named the "political conscience of 21st century American independent cinema," by Sight & Sound Magazine, Wilkerson is heavily influenced by the Third Cinema movement, and known for films that combine "maximalist aesthetics and radical politics." This is owed, in part, to his meeting Cuban filmmaker Santiago Álvarez. Following the meeting, Wilkerson made the feature documentary Accelerated Under-Development about that meeting, and he was heavily involved in the rediscovery of Alvarez's films.

Filme   An Injury to One 2002 – Who Killed Cock Robin? 2005 – Proving Ground 2009  
Distinguished Flying Cross 2011 – Far from Afghanistan 2012 (8. UX) – Machine Gun or Typewriter? 2015 (10. UX)