It is 2019 and Bruce Franks Jr is a battle rapper, leading Ferguson activist and state representative from St Louis, Missouri.

Known as Superman to his constituents, he is a political figure the likes of which you have never seen - full of contradictions and deep insights, who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most dynamic and unapologetic young leaders in the United States.

St Louis Superman follows Franks at a critical juncture in his life. He is forced to deal with the mental trauma he has been carrying for nearly 30 years, since his nine-year-old brother was shot and killed in front of him.

Only by confronting his pain can Franks find peace and truly fulfil his destiny as a leader for his community.

St Louis Superman was nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. This Al Jazeera Witness documentary was acquired by MTV Documentary Films.


By Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan

St Louis Superman began as a search for purpose in politics. It led us to Bruce Franks Jr, an activist, elected official, father, brother and son who fights for his community with every breath of his being. Over the course of making this film, we learned so much from Bruce. Most notably, that the march towards justice requires collective action, not just individual heroism. As protestors around the world, from Hong Kong to Minneapolis, join the fight against systemic oppression and senseless death, we hope you will draw as much strength from Bruce's story as we have. But also recognise, as he did, that fighting comes in many forms: protesting, legal action, civic engagement, financial donations, artistic expression, self-reflection and, sometimes, just finding a way to stay alive another day.

We hope this film will inspire you to find your path to helping create a more just world for all.

Source: Al Jazeera