Monsters And Men writer/director Reinaldo Marcus Green stopped by Deadline’s Sundance Studio, along with cast members John David Washington, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Anthony Ramos to speak about the film’s perspective on the racial aftermath when a white police officer wrongfully shoots a neighborhood street hustler.
Green’s feature debut is an expansion of his 2015 short Stop, but the film is told through differing views: the bystander who filmed the act, a black police officer, and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.
The director said that the idea came from a heated discussion with a police officer friend. “I was having a conversation with a cop friend and we were talking about the Eric Garner case. We just saw two different things on that tape. I saw a man that should be alive and he saw something different. He just thought it was unfortunate that the guy was dead but that he was resisting arrest.”
Green said the conversation and “that perspective opened up the idea” to show the different angles and the lives affected by this racially charged issue.
Although this film focuses on one incident, the piece itself is inspired by the ongoing epidemic of race-related police brutality cases. “It’s talking about the cycle rather than one particular case because these things are happening all the time, it’s happening everywhere and I didn’t want it to feel like one isolated thing.”
The pic, which also stars Nicole Beharie, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Chante Adams and Rob Morgan, world premiered at the fest on Friday.
Take a look at the video above.
The Deadline Studio at Sundance 2018 is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.