‘Whose Streets?’

‘Whose Streets?’ is a ‘correction of the narrative’ about Ferguson

This assignment came sort of late and round about. True/False was in full swing and, essentially, we were looking for a chance to take a deeper look at a film — especially with Vox covering reviews for the films and a handful of other reporters tackling the festivities.

For me, this assignment was much more in my wheelhouse. I have been reviewing movies and writing about movies and movie culture for a few years now, so I felt confident that I could do what I needed to do, and that I knew the language to articulate the story — all things that I worry about on a regular basis regarding other stories. Being a writer before a reporter, I’m always concerned that I know the words (the language, the diction, the jargon, the vernacular) to tap into the subject at hand and say what I want to say, and movies is one subject where I feel comfortable doing that.

Generally, I think it paid off. It was one scenario where I felt comfortable writing the story in my head as it played out. I knew most of what I would say about the movie before even getting a chance to talk with the directors (while open to letting their comments and interpretation guide my structure). It was new, though, to not really have any time to plan questions, to be put on the spot and need to come up with thoughtful, pointed questions. I jotted down a few notes during the movie, but I’m used to having more time to think questions over and perfect them, so working on the fly in that respect was fun and eye-opening.

Chatting with the directors was also a treat. They were open and candid in a way that many subjects aren’t. They also had a thoughtful digression about the term “subject” and how the media views those who they come to interview and watch and abandon — the disconnect created by such an exacting medical term: subjects. It was possibly my favorite moment from our discussion, but not one I could really see fitting into the story I put together.


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