California Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. The film is a meditation on creativity and technology featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others.
Really shows the perspective of some local activists living in Ferguson of what the Mike Brown protests were all about. There is not huge detail into the Mike Brown shooting. It's more about raw footage of street protests, police reactions, some town halls, and so on. It really shows how the protesters were not armed and were faced with a much more weaponized police response. The police clearly are not a part of the community and one wonders why the officers appear so alien from the people they are policing. The police are portrayed as a failed institution. There are some brief news clips interspersed in. Most of it is just amateur video on the streets. There is a glimpse into the personal life of some of the activists.
At one point, one of the activists said that you can burn down a convenience store yet it can be rebuilt, however all the magicians in the world can't bring back a dead person. Therefore, the real question of violence should be: was anyone hurt? This encapsulates the overall theme of the documentary which is that people come before everything. Clearly the Mike Brown killing became a rallying point but he was also a symbol for much deeper grievances, which is the community didn't feel the police force treated them as people. You won't hear much from the other side in this documentary but it doesn't pretend to be that.
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