In An Act Of Unity, predominantly Asian American and Pacific Islander American demonstrators in Oakland, CA., chose to mark African American Michael Brown’s life and death. Michael Brown, at 18 and unarmed, was killed in 2014 in a police shooting. The demonstrators chose to physicalize their protest against police killings of unarmed Black people symbolically– for the exact amount of time Micheal Brown’s body laid lifeless in the Ferguson, Missouri street.
With the increase of USA police killings in 2019-2020, filmmaker Cedric O’Bannon realized that he had footage of the aforementioned demonstration. A video journalist, it did not escape O’Bannon that mainstream media rarely shows people of color supporting the dignity of others–particularly not other peoples of color. Still, O’Bannon was holding his own unused footage of the demonstration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in support of Black Lives.
The short film, An Act Of Unity, was born to show the solidarity between those who historically have suffered the same journeys. The Michael Brown demonstration proceeded the COVID pandemic. We now have documented the increased racist hate crimes suffered by Asian and Pacific Islanders in the USA by those ignorantly blaming them for COVID. An Act Of Unity is not only an acknowledgment by the filmmakers of the solidarity between these afore mentioned peoples– but also– a thank you.
Directed by Cedric O’Bannon (USA)