Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Directors and activists Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’s outstanding and incendiary documentary about Ferguson does a tremendous end run around mainstream news outlets and the agenda-driven narratives that emerge, particularly on television.
Raw and unadorned, Whose Streets? is a documentary in the truest sense of the word; an actual moving document of events fresh in the country’s memory, but never before laid as bare as they are here.
Slant Magazine
The film’s rhythmic editing contextualizes Ferguson’s streets for their relevance to a black populace’s want for stability and peace.
The documentary combines first-rate storytelling and citizen journalism, providing a harrowing, ground-up look at those that are often denied agency or dismissed as troublemakers to be tear-gassed.
Whose Streets? is not a movie intended for those seeking an explanatory recap, let alone “balanced” analysis, of the original case itself. What it does offer, however, is a pulse-taking of one community’s response — variably constructive, occasionally chaotic — to perceived institutionalized abuse by law enforcement.
The scruffiness is intentional and the film has that conventional search for heroes and heroines — who to follow, single-out and build the movie around. But Whose Streets? also lets us see how citizens journey from outrage to action, from passivity to protest to influencing public policy, just by standing up and saying “Enough!”
Ultimately, Whose Streets? is timely not only because of its social message, but also because it fully embraces the cell phone footage and tweets that have been crucial tools in the Black Lives Matter and other movements.
An emotionally charged account of the ongoing fight of the African-American community of Ferguson, Missouri, to be treated as equal citizens, the film, like the movement it documents, is stronger on impassioned conviction than organization.
The film may be short on analysis, but it’s clear that systematic government failures at the local and state level have created a toxic climate, and Whose Streets? displays the seething emotions that resulted.
The movie’s most potent closeup is of a black policewoman, in a line confronting protesters; if you can film her, why not learn what she has to say? Folayan and Davis, however, hold no brief for even-handedness, and, for those who dominate the screen, any sign of temperance, even in a President, is treated with contempt.

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