I Can’t Breathe: Doc Lab Film Screening Showcases Media That Matters

The Doc Lab Airs Five Short Documentary Films Created by Students

The pandemic and social justice issues dominated 2020, and served as prime inspiration for student filmmakers in MSU’s Doc Lab. In January, the students are giving you a front row seat of 5 new documentaries during a virtual screening that shed light on the COVID-19 response and impact, police brutality and racism.

The collection of short, impactful films from the Documentary Laboratory for Creative Non-Fiction Film (The Doc Lab) are sure to inspire and encourage dialogue. A virtual public screening and forum will take place on Wednesday, January, 27 at 7 p.m. The event, aptly titled I Can’t Breathe, is available for anyone to attend with the following link:

Join on Zoom:

Password: doclab

Creating Films of Impact

Trevor Williams, the Doc Lab member who created The Normalization of Black Death, reflected on the pervasive nature of police violence and how he aimed to foster a conversation.

“I wanted to create something that the viewer is forced to confront, something that demands engagement,” said Williams. “Intersectional solidarity comes in many forms, and I wish to use my filmmaking and editing ability to improve conditions for marginalized groups to the best of my ability.”

The Impact, by director Lexus Jacobs, is yet another powerful documentary in the screening. Jacobs examines the community reactions to a questionnaire containing racist statements circulated to MSU students as part of a research project last year.

The films in this collection explore volatile themes ranging from institutional racism, to the desolation, uncertainty, and struggle for power during the COVID-19 pandemic. These must-see films are sure to leave a searing impression on viewers.

The following five short documentaries will be featured in this screening:

The Normalization of Black Death – Created by Trevor Williams
A blistering cumulative account of how we live with and ignore state sponsored murder.

Coronaland I – Directed by Megan Kipper
A reminder of the shocking early days of the pandemic and how we unconsciously both fought and allied ourselves with the virus.

Coronaland II – Directed by Brandon Drain
A look at the rise of the collective despair during the global pandemic.

Coronaland III – Directed by Kara Headley
How the virus devastated one person and the Black community.

The Impact – Directed by Lexus Jacobs
An exploration of institutional racism.

For more information, you can reach John Valadez by email at valadez3@msu.edu.

By Michelle David