Review: Kaepernick & America (Tribeca 2022)

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Title: Kaepernick vs America
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Ross Hockrow, Tommy Walker
Starring: Colin Kaepernick, Nate Boyer, April Dinwoodie
Runtime: 1 hr 22 mins

What It Is: When the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem many asked why he possibly would do something so contentious. His reasoning? The escalating violence against people of color (particularly Black people) at the hands of policemen all over the country. As his message of solidarity began to get twisted by bad actors hellbent on making him the villain it became easier and easier to do just that. His actions give credence to the saying “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”…even if he’s simply kneeling.

What We Think: Putting the biases (both personal and the ones portrayed here) aside the documentary itself spotlights a figure in modern history that is divisive and controversial to an epic degree. Hockrow and Walker put together such a fascinating portrait of a man simply fighting for what he believes in and the regime determined to take him down. Through it all there’s a silver lining in the way this is put together. Gives hope to those that share Kaepernick’s point of view while perhaps educating those that disagreed with the former second-round pick out of the University of Nevada-Reno.

Our Grade: B-, This is set to hit our screen September 2nd on video on demand but we saw this at Tribeca. A place typically chock full of amazing stories in regards to the documentary art of storytelling. I caution those of you who disagree with the former quarterbacks’ perspective that this film is very much shot from there. If you are an advocate of that message there’s plenty here for you. The skill here is in the way the two directors handle everything. Making each interview seem as important as the previous one. A tough task expertly handled by Hockrow and Walker.

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