In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins Travis Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed documentary, DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?, which takes us on a journey through the American South to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that allowed it to happen. Acting as narrator and guide, Wilkerson spins a strange, frightening tale, incorporating scenes from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, the music of Janelle Monáe, Billie Holiday and Phil Ochs, and the story of Rosa Parks’s investigation into the Recy Taylor case, as well as his own family history, for a gripping investigation into our collective past and its echoes into the present day.
“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 America’s past and present through the prism of family, patriarchy, white supremacy and black resistance.” —Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“(Wilkerson) provides, in effect, a travelogue of the history of racism—and that history rushes into the present day when he attempts to find Spann’s grave… An overwhelming experience.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Now screening at The Belcourt in Nashville.