Every Nine Hours ends with a quote from The Guardian, which states “In 2017, 987 people were shot and killed by police in America. One every nine hours. Black men were 3x more likely to be in that number than any other group of people.” The film explores this issue through an extremely relevant and upsetting incident early on in the film which propels the narrative forward to discuss society’s attitudes towards race and gender.
The film opens with Justin, played by Philip Smithey, being pulled over by a cop. This incident leaves Justin visibly shaken and distressed, as he seems vacant at dinner later on in the evening with his girlfriend Christina, played by Elisabeth Ferrara. This is not the first time he has been pulled over, but this time it felt different. A heated argument erupts between the couple, which develops into a wider conversation about how Christina will never understand the struggles that Justin goes through as a black man. The short film successfully explores how this one incident earlier in the day is part of a wider issue which has caused Justin’s emotions to build up to breaking point.
In its short running time Every Nine Hours covers a lot of ground in an insightful way. It tackles and debates race and gender and how the two impact on how an individual is able to go about their day to day life. The direction is contained and allows for the performances to feel real as the film is conversation heavy. The decision to have the argument between the couple occur in a restaurant with others visibly reacting to the heated debate taking place creates an uncomfortable and uneasy atmosphere, which is important when exploring how these conversations need to happen and be tackled head on to implement real change. Every Nine Hours feels relevant in today’s society and the film’s realistic approach to examining important issues is noteworthy. The cinematography is careful to capture the actors reactions and the camera lingers long enough to convey how the incident has reverberated and impacted on the rest of the couples day.
Overall, Every Nine Hours leaves a long lasting impression after its final frame. The context of the statistics from the quote at the end of the short film reinforces the shocking truth about race relations in America and how society has a long way to go to fully tackle fear and hatred.
Watch the official movie trailer for Every Nine Hours below.