After more than a week of protests across the country sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, many people are looking for ways to educate themselves to better understand systemic racism.
To that end, Showtime has released two of its acclaimed documentaries on the subject—16 Shots and Burn Motherf*cker, Burn! —for free on YouTube, sho.com, on demand and on other platforms for everyone to view.
16 Shots examines the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the cover-up that ensued. After the police initially declared the shooting as justified, journalists and activists fought for footage of the event to be released, sending the Chicago Police Department and local Chicago government officials into upheaval. Director Richard Rowley’s film dissects the cover-up through first-hand accounts that led to the unprecedented conviction that fractured Chicago’s political landscape.
16 Shots is a joint production of Midnight Productions, Topic Studios, Impact Partners and Chicago Media Project. Jacqueline Soohen, Michael Bloom, Lisa Leingang, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Ken Nolan and Brian Kenney serve as executive producers.
Acclaimed director Sacha Jenkins’ Burn Motherf*cker, Burn! explores the complicated relationship between the Los Angeles Police Department and the city’s Black and minority communities. The film starts with the 1962 ransacking of a Los Angeles Nation of Islam mosque, which left many injured and one man dead, through the 1965 Watts riots, the rise of L.A. street gangs in the 1970s and ’80s and the Rodney King beating in 1991.
A year later, on April 29, 1992, four LAPD officers were acquitted by a Simi Valley jury on charges of assault, lighting the fuse for the uprising that began that evening and continued for days.
Through the backdrop of these inflection points, the conflict is seen through the lens of three generations of local residents, community organizers, artists and influencers who lived through the uprising, illustrating the root causes, and the continued struggle for social justice.
Burn Motherf*cker, Burn! is produced and directed by Sacha Jenkins, and executive produced by Misha Louy on behalf of Mass Appeal.