Nicolas Jaar has created the soundtrack to Eleven Times, a powerful short film that pays tribute to Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and other victims of police brutality. Jaar composed the soundtrack with longtime Gil Scott-Heron collaborator Brian Jackson, and based it off Scott-Heron's "Winter in America."
In light of yesterday's shooting of an unarmed man on LA's Skid Row, as well as fierce debates surrounding fatal police encounters in recent months, Nicolas Jaar's latest project holds immense relevance. The film's title is a reference to the number of times Garner said "I can't breathe" while a police officer put him in a deadly chokehold. The killings of unarmed African-Americans such as Garner have sparked protests across the country, turning the manta "Black Lives Matter" into an international movement.
Eleven Times falls squarely within Black Lives Matter's endeavor to end racial oppression. The film illustrates the prevalence of police harassment by sharing the experiences of eleven black men from all walks of life. "[My aim was to] empower the people who are subject to this unfortunately institutionalized system, showing their beauty and their strength," director Samantha Casolari told Nowness.com.
The film is hardly the first of Jaar's socially-conscious projects. Last December, he teamed up with DJ Slugo on "Ghetto," a powerful track inspired by Ferguson and Slugo's upbringing on the Chicago streets.
Neither is it his first venture into avant-garde film territory. Earlier this month, Jaar composed an alternate soundtrack for The Color of Pomegranates, a 1969 Soviet film directed by Sergei Parajanov. (The video, uploaded to his label Other People's YouTube channel, has since been removed.)
Watch Eleven Times above, and head over to Nowness.com to read the stories of its protagonists.
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