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‘Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America’ Trailer Says the U.S. Is at a Tipping Point

Ahead of its Jan. 14 release, Sony Pictures Classic has released the first trailer for “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America.”

The documentary is directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler. Interweaving lectures, personal anecdotes, interviews and shocking revelations, criminal defense and civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.

The story is anchored by Robinson’s 2018 presentation at NYC’s historic Town Hall Theater, with the directors capturing Robinson’s meetings with Black change-makers and eyewitnesses to history. From a hanging tree in Charleston, S.C., to a walking tour of the origins of slavery in colonial New York, to the site of a 1947 lynching in rural Alabama, the film brings history to life, exploring the enduring legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it.

The filmmakers have spent their lives immersed in the civil rights movement, first as the daughters of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” attorney William Kunstler, and then forging their own careers crafting documentaries on criminal justice. When filmmaker and lawyer Sarah Kunstler heard a speech by ACLU attorney Jeffery Robinson at a legal education seminar, she wasn’t prepared for the words to change her life. It was an abbreviated version of the presentation on the history of racism in America that Robinson gives on lecture tours around the country, in which he says the failure of white people to oppose the oppression of Black people is akin to condoning the idea of white supremacy.

“I walked out of that conference room and would never see the world the same again,” Sarah Kunstler remembers, adding that her first thought was, “How can I help Jeffery get this to the largest audience possible?”

“Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America,” which bowed at SXSW and won the audience award is now nominated by the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) for best picture. The documentary also received two nominations at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, including the local jury award.

Watch the trailer below.

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