planting the seed documentary by kristina thomas

December 6, 2013

On New Year’s Eve 2009 in Oakland, California Police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed 23-year-old Oscar Grant. Several witnesses captured the tragic incident on cell phone cameras. Three years later, Officer Mehserle made history by becoming the first California police officer to be charged with murder from an on-duty shooting.

For many, including the family of the young victim, Oscar Grant’s unfortunate death opened an eye to an inadequate legal system and the many families that the system constantly fails. This film introduces, Oscar’s Uncle, Bobby Johnson, who has started a foundation to advocate for other families dealing with the loss of their loved one, and Wanda Johnson, Oscar’s mother, who helps parents through the grieving process. Through it all, both mother and uncle try to find solace just five short years after the wrongful death of Oscar. The film also shares conversations with another family starting court after their son has died. Through these two families we see the determination for justice through the judicial system.

In “Planting The Seed” we explore grief, determination, and the impact of police brutality on victim’s families, while drawing a parallel to the families that Oscar Grant’s Mother and Uncle help in the Director’s hometown of Oakland, California.