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Parents' Guide to

Finding Kendrick Johnson

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Powerful docu about fight against historical racism.

Movie NR 2021 102 minutes
Finding Kendrick Johnson Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Black Lives Matter!

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This documentary will leave you filled with righteous anger for the Johnson family and all Black families who've dealt with racist violence. Directed by Jason Pollock, Finding Kendrick Johnson is a hard but necessary watch for anyone who's hoping to learn more about the United States' history of racist violence. Narrated poignantly by Lewis, the film clearly presents the evidence related to Johnson's unsolved death -- with much of it revealing a racist conspiracy meant on keeping White suspects safe because their father is an FBI agent. The cover-up also reflects the United States' history of disregarding Black lives, a history that only started being dismantled at an accelerated rate after the 2020 deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and others.

The film unflinchingly discusses Johnson's death, including showing images of his corpse as it was found and throughout his two autopsies. And it takes the same unflinching approach to covering the United States' racist past (and present), including showing uncensored images of lynched Black bodies, Emmett Till's open casket, and more. The film might leave viewers disturbed, but it's for a reason: Pollock wants viewers to feel the same weight of pain and pressure that the Johnsons and other Black families feel daily. While the film has a lot for viewers to process, it successfully shows that Black people have had to process this level of inhumanity for centuries. It asks viewers to bear witness to that pain during its nearly two-hour run time. And ultimately it's asking viewers to do much more after processing these horrible truths: It asks them to join the call for justice for the Johnsons and for all Black people suffering under the weight of racial injustice and violence.

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