Watch the full special "REVOLT Presents: Happy Birthday Mario Woods"
What does a mother do when her son’s life is cut short? We visit Gwen Woods as she celebrates her son’s birthday for the first time after he was killed by police.
Mario Woods didn’t make it to his 27th birthday. At just 26, he was shot 21 times by police in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood on December 2, 2015. With the latest REVOLT Special, Happy Birthday Mario Woods, we turn the lens on Woods’ mother, who battles her grief on her son’s birthday by turning it into Mario Woods Remembrance Day.
Woods’ death is especially pertinent considering the uproar over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest the National Anthem. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” Kaepernick said. Ironically, the San Francisco police protesting Kaepernick’s position are responsible for Woods’ unfortunate death.
Happy Birthday Mario Woods is the third installment in “The Happy Birthday Project,” following short films on Oscar Grant and Philando Castile. It is produced by Even/Odd Films in collaboration with Ryan Coogler’s Blackout for Human Rights and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
“What often goes uncovered in cases of state sponsored human rights violations is how valuable and important each victim is to their family,” Coogler said. “Happy Birthday Mario Woods is a piece reflecting on the life of this young man who was killed unnecessarily. For just a few short moments, we’re given a glimpse into how his loved ones process their grief and loss, while being reminded that Mario’s story is one of many.”
Watch the full film here: