Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? ★★★½

69/100

Knowing this project's origin inevitably colors how I perceive it as a film, even though Wilkerson's overall approach closely resembles what he did with An Injury to One. The "loop" sequences, in particular, seem as if they'd work better live, in a context that splits visual focus between deliberately repetitive filmed images (accompanied by an equivalent aural drone; nice use of Scout Niblett, whose distinctive guitar sound I correctly identified) and the onstage narrator. So I envy those who were able to see Did You Wonder that way, while also feeling grateful for the existence of this very sturdy conversion. Can't imagine Wilkerson was thinking of Roger & Me, but his fruitless quest for any information at all about the man his great-grandfather killed has a similar trajectory, with Moore's sarcasm and anger replaced by sorrow and self-loathing. "I'm showing you images of the place Bill Spann is buried in an unmarked grave," Wilkerson intones in his noir-esque rasp. "I filmed the graveyard using an expensive camera. I was paid to do it." The bit at the very end about whiteness incinerating the world is perhaps over the top, but the extent to which Wilkerson acknowledges his original-sin complicity, even as he endeavors to restore the mere existence of someone who's been tossed down American history's memory hole, is bracing.