Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) 720p

Movie Poster
Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) - Movie Poster
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
0 min
IMDB Rating:
5.7 / 10 
Add Date:

Directors: Muta'Ali Muhammad [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A look at the events surrounding the murder of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager in Brooklyn, who was killed in by a group of white youths.


  • Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) - Movie Scene 1
  • Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) - Movie Scene 2
  • Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) - Movie Scene 1

Related Movies:

  • One Note at a Time (2016)

    Read More »

    'If the musicians ain't got a chance to live, then what chance has the music got?' Dr John. This is a beautifully crafted, feature documentary, rich with colourful characters, and set in the iconic musical backdrop of New Orleans. In 2005 the music stopped, when one of the most deadly and destructive hurricanes in American history struck. The flood defences failed flooding the Crescent City for weeks. Lives were lost and shattered. Many displaced musicians felt compelled to return to the chaos and bleak confusion to play again. This is the story of some who made it back, told in their own words, with those who fought alongside to resuscitate the music scene; In particular the founders of The New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, a unique medical facility with the motto, 'Keeping the music alive'. —Renee Edwards

  • The Last 24 Hours: Michael Jackson (2018)

    Read More »

    The ultimate king of pop Michael Jackson spent his last hours battling insomnia and pleading with his personal physician. We explore the truth behind this and discover the real facts, with exclusive footage and testimonials.


Riveting But Slightly Underbaked

A powerful revisiting of the 1989 Yusuf Hawkins killing in Bensonhurst. I myself was a 21 year old in Manhattan then, too busy partying in pre-Giuliani NYC than to follow current events much and it was far too easy to accept the narrative put forth by the local newspapers and broadcast news: that some kids had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and it was an accident, of sorts. It was also easy to accept the popular narrative that almost immediately casts doubts upon young people of color from the get-go. In the case of Yusuf Hawkins, that was cleared up in a matter of days (they were innocent) but with the Central Park Jogger it took decades to clear their names.

The reality with the Hawkins killing is that four young black men went to check out a car for sale in a neighborhood they were unfamiliar with and almost immediately after getting off the subway, they were circled by a group of 30 or so predominantly white men, primed for a fight and armed with bats. Yusuf Hawkins was shot dead and, in the days, and months that followed it became a cause célèbre, the foundation of which was a series of incredibly tense and racially charged protest marches in Bensonhurst. The marches brought out the worst in the mostly Italian-American locals who ranted and raved on camera. No one would damage the long-fought-for image of Italian-Americans more until the cast of Jersey Shore almost 20 years later.

To the reviewer here griping about the portrayal of Italian-Americans: there's not much to defend when you watch this film and see the things they did and hear the things they said to the protest marchers. As far as the number of African-American living in Bensonhurst in about 1990, the reviewer cites "2,000." I'm not sure what the reviewer's point was. Regardless, I think it was actually closer to 7,000...but that was within a population of 150,000. So, whether it was 2,000 or 7,000, only about 1% to 5% of the population of Bensonhurst was African-American. Minuscule compared to the white majority. If you want to get a pretty good idea of Bensonhurst at the time, just watch Spike Lee's 1991 Jungle Fever, of which he dedicated to Yusuf Hawkins.

What enflamed the media and therefore the public during the marches was the polarizing presence of Reverend Al Sharpton. He was at a low-point in his own public image having just come off the revealed-to-be-a-hoax Tawana Brawley incident, and many viewed him as a charlatan.

We get interviews with a lot of players, including Sharpton who certainly comes across as an eloquent and wise elder statesman now, not nearly as accredited as he should be.

Also heard from is the almost forgotten one-term Mayor of NYC, David Dinkins. He was in many ways elected because of the color of his skin but he turned out to be the whitest NYC Mayor since John Lindsay.

My favorite interview was with a NYPD Detective who explained his interrogation techniques with one of the suspects. Let's just say it wouldn't fly today but it certainly worked for him then.

A few intriguing threads are left on the table. For one, Hawkins's father Moses Stewart, appears to flourish as the press conferences and marches continue. He goes from a diamond in the rough to a very polished guy. I would have liked some positing on that and why he retreated from public life and his family. I also would have liked some more interviews with the Bensonhurst denizens. But sometimes a hint is all that you need, and the filmmakers certainly exercised a lot of restraint. Perhaps too much restraint.

Especially when viewed through the lens of 2020, the Yusuf Hawkins story is highly disturbing. At a very base level it demonstrates what the death of a son/brother/cousin/nephew could do to a family and on a larger level, it illustrates what one of the reviewers here erroneously called "pandemic," actually meaning "endemic," racism.

Revisionist history and divisive in the disguise of enlightenment

One name- Al Sharpton. If you want to see why this escalated, you only need to do the research. I have. It's terrible.

Most people are beautiful. And love one another for who they are. Some dont. And that's a shame but it's a fact. This documentary is propaganda that will only make more of these things happen, thus more documentaries. Ridiculous.

But more sinister, there are some employed and directed by the powers that be to make us this way; divide us under the guise of justice and progress. The only thing they do is keep us standing still.

This doc is edited in a manor to prove it's own point, but not to document the totality of this very tragic situation. This is nothing more than a tool for those above us to keep us hating one another.

Death of anyone by way of murder and malice is detestable. Color isnt an issue. The true issues here were never covered.

This documentary and the ideas behind it are the reason for the killing in the first place, and that's some irony for you.

Stop making media to make us hate one another for profit.

A Total Distortion Of A Tragic Event

This documentary is, not surprisingly, a complete distortion of the events that took place that day in August, 1989. The "white mob" that confronted Hawkins and his three friends included an African-American teen who lived a block away. Over 2,000 African-Americans lived in Bensonhurst at the time. That's about 2,000 more than lived in some of the upscale "gentrified" sections of Brooklyn at the time. There were Jewish kids in the "mob," including one of the instigators. Hawkins' three friends were left unharmed, as everyone ran off when the lone shooter opened fire. The sole reason the four teens were confronted was the fact that the girlfriend of one of the "ringleaders" had a quarrel with him and promised to bring in outsiders to start trouble with him. Hawkins and his three pals stopped right in front of her house while looking for another address. They were in the area to look at a used car. They were showing some of the kids in the "mob" (which was not "angry") the paper with the ad for the car when the lone shooter opened fire. The front page of the local tabloids the next day showed some white women from the street where Hawkins was shot kneeling down around him trying to comfort him. Thanks to the cooperation of the "angry mob" members and other local residents, the shooter and the instigators were identified and arrested. A candlelight vigil attended by dozens of local residents was held in Bensonhurst a few nights after the shooting and this was also reported in the local media. The reason the community reacted negatively to the protest marches that followed was twofold; the rejection of the implication collective guilt for the entire neighborhood, which was a lot more ethnically and racially mixed than many other NYC neighborhoods, and the fact that the leaders of the marches were Al Sharpton, C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox, three of the most notorious racial arsonists in NYC, if not the nation.

In short, a tragic case of mistaken identity by a lone loser was used to smear a fine community where hundreds of African-Americans lived, shopped, attended school and worked each day without incident.

I might also add that a few years before these events, an Italian-American groundskeeper in the nearby Marboro Housing Project was shot and killed in cold blood by a black teen who used him for target practice in a clear racial assault There were no marches and no documentaries about that incident for some reason.
Read More Reviews