film cover for strong islandWednesday, October 18, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Princeton Garden Theatre
Tickets required

Director Yance Ford participates in an educational discussion of his latest documentary film, Strong Island, as part of the new film screening series Film Blackness, organized by visiting associate professor Michael Gillespie (City College of New York) and made possible by the John Sacret Young Fund for visiting filmmakers.

In this revealing and personal documentary, Ford details the story of his brother’s murder and the subsequent cover-up by law enforcement in 1992. In reexamining the case, Ford has crafted a cinematic memoir that explores themes of family, race, and justice. Strong Island won a special jury prize for storytelling at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Equal parts journalistic investigation and family portrait, Ford’s delicate project transforms the source of his frustrations into an absorbing cinematic elegy.”
Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Tickets are free for Princeton University students, faculty and staff; show Princeton University ID at the Garden Theatre box office to pickup tickets. Public tickets are $6-11 available through the Garden Theatre box office online or in person.


Strong Island chronicles the arc of a family across history, geography and tragedy — from the racial segregation of the Jim Crow South to the promise of New York City; from the presumed safety of middle class suburbs, to the maelstrom of an unexpected, violent death. It is the story of the Ford family: Barbara Dunmore, William Ford and their three children and how their lives were shaped by the enduring shadow of race in America. A deeply intimate and meditative film, Strong Island asks what one can do when the grief of loss is entwined with historical injustice, and how one grapples with the complicity of silence, which can bind a family in an imitation of life, and a nation with a false sense of justice.

YANCE FORD, who is transgender, is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellowship, and was among Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2011. For ten years Ford was privileged to work as Series Producer for the PBS showcase POV and where his curatorial work helped garner more than 16 Emmy nominations. Ford is also an architectural welder, and while at Modern Art Foundry he helped assemble the sculpture “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois—the series of three spiders exhibited at Rockefeller Center, and now on permanent display at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.


Event Archive

View or download event materials: Poster | Press release

Map + Directions

The Princeton Garden Theatre is located at 160 Nassau St. in Princeton.

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

+ Google Map

Presented By

  • Program in Visual Arts
  • Princeton Garden Theater