AFI DOCS: Chris McKim on FREEDIA GOT A GUN
“Documentaries are representation and resistance and windows into worlds we might not otherwise get to explore on our own.” -Chris McKim, director of FREEDIA GOT A GUN
Making its virtual World Premiere at AFI DOCS, FREEDIA GOT A GUN follows bounce legend Big Freedia as she uses her platform to raise awareness about the complexities of gun violence, a nationwide epidemic that continues to disproportionally harm Black communities. In the film, Freedia shares her personal journey from growing up gay in the projects and chasing her musical dreams and the first-hand experiences she and the community have had with gun violence.
Director Chris McKim and Freedia have been friends and collaborators since they worked together on the series BIG FREEDIA: QUEEN OF BOUNCE. “After her brother Adam was killed, telling that story and exploring the causes and effects of gun violence in New Orleans was a natural progression,” said McKim. “It was a chance to show the strength and resilience of the community while holding society-at-large responsible for the systemic racism that fuels the gun violence problem.”
When discussing the importance of documentary films, McKim pointed to artist and activist David Wojnarowicz, who once wrote, “History is made and preserved by and for particular classes of people. A camera in some hands can preserve an alternate history.” For McKim, he believes that documentaries are “representation and resistance and windows into worlds we might not otherwise get to explore on our own.”
He hopes white audiences come away from FREEDIA GOT A GUN with a deeper understanding of how generations of systemic racism has contributed to such a vast array of problems for the black community and an urge to do something about it.