April 19, 2016

Book chronicling a single day of gun violence in America to be adapted for film


Gary Younge

Gary Younge. Image via The Guardian.

A forthcoming book chronicling the stories of ten children, all who were shot and killed across America on November 23, 2013, will also be adapted for a film starring British actor David Oyelowo.

Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. reports that Allegiance Theater and Double E Pictures have already nabbed rights to journalist Gary Younge’s Another Day in the Death of America, which explores gun violence in America by focusing on ten unrelated shootings of children—only three above the national daily average—that occurred in an otherwise unremarkable day.

The book grew out of Younge’s 2007 article for the Guardian, which told the stories of the deaths—none of which had been previously reported on in the media—via interviews with their family members. Fleming explains:

“Younge picked the date at random, searched for their families, and tells the stories not of how they died but how they lived. What emerges is a sobering, searing portrait of youth and guns in contemporary America. And for Younge, what starts out as an assignment full of challenges becomes a personal mission.”

Set to be published in the US and UK this fall, Another Day in the Death of America comes as the conversation about the place of guns in American culture intensifies. Similar, in some ways, to Peter Manseau’s just-published Melancholy Accidents: Three Centuries of Stray Bullets and Bad Luck, Younge takes on a fraught subject by relating, matter-of-factly, the kind of violence that occurs in this country all too frequently, and which is all too frequently dismissed as fate, bad luck, or unpreventable circumstance.

While details about the forthcoming film adaptation haven’t been released, Flavorwire‘s Michael Epstein surmised that “Oyelowo will play Younge himself… and the film may focus on the reporting process.” And if the original Guardian article is any indication, it will be spare and harrowing, like this description of the shooting of 14-year-old Bernard Simon.

In Cherry Hill, Baltimore…Bernard Simon was sitting on a friend’s porch, just around the corner from his home, when someone shot him. At one end of the street where he lived, searchlights stand on 20ft poles; at the other is a flashing neon-blue light, courtesy of Baltimore police, with the message “24/7 Believe.” No one on the small block where Bernard was shot will admit to having even heard of him. His mother has moved away. The only evidence that Bernard was ever there is some graffiti scrawled on a power box: “Hez hooliganz. RIP Bernie.”




Kait Howard was a publicist at Melville House.