How the Black Lives Matter Movement Has Already Affected Films

The Black Lives Matter demonstrations have led many media companies and Hollywood creatives to pledge their support for the movement — but they’ve also already made an impact on several films.

As Black Lives Matter organizers and activists have urged white people to educate themselves about systemic racism and reflect on their white privilege, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that Just Mercy will be available during the month of June, free of cost. Just Mercy follows the true story of attorney Bryan Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, who defends Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), when he is wrongly condemned for murder.

“We believe in the power of a story,” the Warner Bros. statement reads. “Our film Just Mercy… is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society.”

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In an effort to keep focus on the movement, Lin-Manuel Miranda postponed the release of his documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme in solidarity with George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protestors. According to Deadline, the documentary focused on the improv hip-hop group Freedom Love Supreme was set to premiere on Hulu on June 5.

“Because in this moment, our collective attention is turned toward these most pressing concerns,” Freedom Love Supreme said in a statement, “we have decided to postpone the premiere of our film, We Are Freestyle Love Supreme. We believe that through activism, understanding and love, this country will realize that now the time for lasting, real change and equity.”

Meanwhile, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is working with Magnolia Pictures to make the films I Am Not Your Negro, Whose Streets? and Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am available to watch for free, Variety notes.

On Wednesday, 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen dedicated his two new films to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement as part of the Cannes Film Festival lineup.

The films, Mangrove and Lovers Rock, spotlight racism in London’s West Indian community from the 1960s to the mid 1980s as a part of McQueen’s Small Axe anthology.

“I dedicate these films to George Floyd, and all the other black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen, because of who they are, in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere. ‘If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.’ Black lives matter,” McQueen said in a statement cited by Deadline.