Three and a half minutes and ten bullets. One unarmed boy is dead.
The film 3½ MINUTES dissects the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, the aftermath of this systemic tragedy, and contradictions within the American criminal justice system.
One evening in Jacksonville, Florida, Michael Dunn, a middle aged man who parked his car next to a car of teenagers in a gas station parking lot, asks the group to turn down the music in their car. The kids turn the music off but one of the teenagers in the car, Jordan Davis, expresses his frustration with doing so. Things get heated between Dunn and Davis and when a gun is drawn into the mix, the exchange turns deadly. Just a few months after Trayvon Martin's death, another black teen is gunned down by an armed white man in Florida.
Witnesses attest to Dunn firing his gun into Jordan's car even as the teenager and his friends tried to back away. Dunn admits to fleeing the scene and he never turned himself in, even after learning that Jordan died.
These are the events that unfolded on the evening of November 23, 2012, but this tragedy had its seeds sown in the long violent history of race and guns in America. 3½ MINUTES explores the emotional toll such violence exacts on those left behind, such as Jordan's parents against the backdrop of a contemporary legal system and the society it intends to serve.
The Davis family typified the modern American family. Ron and Lucy, Jordan’s parents, worked hard and raised their only child with love and diligence. The world wouldn’t have had any reason to know anything about Jordan Davis, an average teenage boy living an average teenage boy’s life, but for the fact that he had become another symbol of the problem of assigning criminal culpability for indiscriminate gun play in a state that harbors very liberal concealed weapons laws.
Despite all the state’s witnesses and a host of evidence that should have convicted Michael Dunn, the prosecutors were left with a hung jury. Ron and Lucy were left without any sense of justice. They assume a quiet dignity that sometimes comes to those who’ve known the worst sort of pain. Their story is the story of 3 ½ MINUTES; the story of how life goes on after a tragedy, and as it goes, one must remain engaged with the world; one must endeavor to do good after having suffered some terrible evil. To do otherwise would leave one a victim for the rest of ones life – which Ron and Lucy refuse to do.