US director Nate Parker said Monday that he hopes his powerful new film about police violence against black men will help save lives.
“American Skin” received an eight-minute standing ovation after it premiered at the Venice film festival, with Spike Lee — who travelled to Italy to support Parker — comparing its impact to “scoring a goal to win the World Cup or a home run at the bottom of the ninth in American parlance”.
The veteran maker of “Do The Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” had earlier declared that “I haven’t been affected by a film like this… in a long, long time.”
The movie about a black Iraq war veteran, whose 14-year-old son is killed by police when they stop their car in a wealthy white area, is a blistering indictment of institutional racism.
It culminates in the avenging father taking his son’s killer hostage and putting him — and racist police attitudes — on trial after storming his local precinct.
Parker said he hopes the film will start a debate within US police forces about the way they deal with black people.
“This experience is happening all too often in America. I hopeful that it can resonate and people will hopefully be moved into action.
“Our mantra was take a beat [stop and think] and save a life. We can make a film that inspires not only conversation but real action. If we can save one life… this film will be the most important thing we have ever done,” he added.