The Sundance Film Festival audience recently witnessed the premiere of Spike TV’s chilling Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which documents the life of the then 16-year-old who was falsely incarcerated in 2010 in Rikers Island. Out of the three years behind bars, Browder spent most of his time in solitary confinement — over 800 days — before the court decided to dismiss charges of theft. Two years after his release, Browder attempted to get his life back on track, but committed suicide at age 22 in 2015.
Now, in partnership with the network and Harvey Weinstein’s company, Jay Z aims to bring Browder’s story to a national platform, discussing the impact he foresees for the six-part program. During a red carpet interview with the Associated Press, the mogul said, “I believe this young man, his story, will save a lot of lives. What was done to him was a huge injustice, and I think people will see his story and realize this is going on.” The Tidal owner continued, “This is not like one case that happened. This is happening a lot for people, especially places where I come from, in the boroughs, in Marcy Projects, the Bronx, and Brooklyn and all these places.”
According to the Daily Beast, the “Lost One” artist also held a post-screening Q&A where he stressed the importance of telling these stories, and touched upon the magnitude of the Women’s March. “We have to organize. I’ve been in these meetings, I’ve spoken with people, I’ve done many things behind the scenes, but most important,” he said, “we are the power. I’m sure a lot of you guys participated in it, but that display of woman power the other day was so amazing and we saw the effect. That no matter what, no matter who’s in office, we are the people that’s in power.”
Jay Z believes this forthcoming series should provide some of the answers in finding a solution to stories like Browder’s concerning minors in solitary. “I hope that we all spread the word so everybody can see this and really move this forward,” he said. “I know it’s difficult to watch — it’s hard to watch — but it’s real life.”