Director Marc Silver's "3 1/2 Minutes" powerfully chronicles a case where justice, race and murder collide. On Nov. 23, 2012, 47-year-old Michael Dunn shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station parking area. Dunn, who is white, claimed he shot in self-defense, claiming Davis, who was black, acted in a threatening manner in an argument over how loud the rap music was in the Dodge Durango in which Davis and his friends were sitting. Dunn and his lawyers tried to argue that Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law justified his actions. Silver ("Who Is Dayani Crystal?") uses extensive courtroom footage to document every moment of the trial, augmented with interviews with Davis' loved ones and recordings of Dunn's jailhouse calls to his fiancée. Arftully shot and deftly edited, Silver's documentary has the artistry and pacing of a courtroom thriller.
- Sean P. Means
"3 1/2 Minutes" is screening in the U.S. Documentary competition of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. No more festival screenings are scheduled.