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Travis Wilkerson performs Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
The Velaslavasay Panorama
Los Angeles, CA
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Travis Wilkerson performs Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
Los Angeles Filmforum and Acropolis Cinema present
Travis Wilkerson performs Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 8:00 pm
At the Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 W 24th St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Los Angeles premiere of the film, in a rare (and possibly the last) live performance version!
Travis Wilkerson in person!

One of the leading non-fiction filmmakers today, Travis Wilkerson returns to Los Angeles Filmforum for the Los Angeles premiere of his widely-praised feature film Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?  Originally developed in part as a live performance, the film now is distributed normally, but we will be presenting it with Wilkerson performing it live again in what may well be the last time he does so!  

A bracing excavation of family history, white supremacy, and the widespread traumas generated by the criminal treatment of African-Americans in Americas past and present, Wilkerson renders an ugly and irredeemable episode from his familys past into a radical form of poetic activist cinema.  A haunting continuation of his remarkable series of films stretching back to the deeply affecting masterwork An Injury to One,

Directed by the resolutely independent American filmmaker Travis Wilkerson, this nonfiction movie recounts the 1946 murder of a black man by one of his white relatives. Serving as the movies narrator  and making the expressive most of his deep, darkly insinuating sepulchral voice  Mr. Wilkerson sifts through the personal and the political, travels down eerily lonely Alabama byways and deep into anguished history. The result is an urgent, often corrosive look at Americas past and present through the prism of family, patriarchy, white supremacy and black resistance..  Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Its hard not to experience [it] and not get shivers up your spine - from fear, from anger, and from the beauty of Wilkerson's filmmaking." - Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice

More than a mining of the directors ugly family history, its closer to a public exorcism, in which Wilkerson personally owns up to the sins of his kin while symbolically standing in for the sins of his country and race.  Eric Hynes, Film Comment

One of the most powerful reckonings in recent American cinema. - Jordan Cronk Sight and Sound

Genre-expanding... It fills the current American landscape with the hatred, oppression, and violence that also scars its history. In effect, the films story is of the ongoing political cover-ups that amplify ongoing political crimes, the S. E. Branches who are living today and the Bill Spanns who are dying. Its an enormous story, one that, in the telling, nearly effaces Wilkerson's presence onstage. With the documentarys many byways of unresolved family conflict and stifled memory, it could be twice its seventy-minute running time, but Wilkersons purpose appears to be less a matter of personal history than of personal confrontation with historyand a quest for the personal basis of political action.  Richard Brody, The New Yorker

About the Filmmaker:
A chance meeting in Havana with legendary Cuban film propagandist Santiago
Alvarez changed the course of Travis Wilkerson's life. He now makes films in the tradition of the third cinema, wedding politics to form in an indivisible manner. In 2015, Sight & Sound called Wilkerson the political conscience of American cinema. His films have screened at scores of venues and festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Toronto, Locarno, Rotterdam, Vienna, Yamagata, the FID Marseille and the Musée du Louvre. The NY Times called his most recent film Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? an urgent, often corrosive look at Americas past and present through the prism of family, patriarchy, white supremacy and black resistance. His writings on film have appeared in Cineaste, Kino!, and Senses of Cinema. He has taught filmmaking at the University of Colorado, CalArts, Pomona College, and Vassar. He is also the founding Editor of Now: A Journal of Urgent Praxis.

Tickets: $12 general; $6 students (with ID)/seniors; free for Filmforum & Velaslavasay Panorama Members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.

For more information: www.lafilmforum.org or 323-377-7238.  Also see www.acropoliscinema.com

Teaser: https://vimeo.com/226573699

Do You Know Who Fired the Gun?
2017, color, sound, 90 minutes
Director, writer, cinematographer, editor: Travis Wilkerson

Alabama, 1946. S.E. Branch, the filmmakers great-grandfather, murdered Bill Spann, a black man. The murder has become hidden family lore and when Wilkerson sets out to unravel the mystery, he encounters obstacle upon obstacle, destroyed records and everyone refusing to talk. Hes accused of bringing shame upon the family, shaking up old trouble nobody wants. The ghosts are real in Alabama. This isn't a White Savior story. It's a White Nightmare story.


The Velaslavasay Panorama (View)
1122 W 24th St,
Los Angeles, CA 90007
United States


Arts > Performance
Film > Movies
Film > Premiers

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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