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In ‘Ferguson Rises,’ Michael Brown Sr. finds resilience after tragedy

Michael Brown Sr. hugs a friend at an event commemorating the five-year anniversary of his son’s death.
Rafael Roy
Michael Brown Sr. hugs a friend at an event commemorating the five-year anniversary of his son’s death.

With "Ferguson Rises," filmmaker Mobolaji Olambiwonnu aims to showcase what it means to be resilient in the face of tragedy. The documentary film focuses on Michael Brown Sr. in the five years since his son’s death in Ferguson set off a global movement.

“He still struggles, as anybody would, with the pain and the trauma and the feelings that he did not receive justice,” Olambiwonnu said. “But what he's been able to create, particularly reaching out to fathers who have experienced trauma … I think he's found a sense of community, and some sense of hope through those members in the community.

“There is resilience through finding and creating community,” he added.

Olambiwonnu joined Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss the film and the dialogue that he hopes the film will elicit.

“I hope, through this film, people begin to see themselves through Michael Brown Sr. — through his struggle — and understand that the universal struggle to find purpose in pain is something that they can identify with,” Olambiwonnu said.

“Ferguson Rises” will be featured Saturday at this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival and is scheduled for broadcast on the weekly PBS program “Independent Lens” this month.

Related Events
What: “Ferguson Rises” at the St. Louis International Film Festival
When: 4:30 p.m. Nov. 6
Where: Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130)

What: “Ferguson Rises” on PBS’ “Independent Lens”
When: 9 p.m. Nov. 8
Where: Nine PBS

Mobolaji Olambiwonnu joins St. Louis on the Air

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.