The Throwaways- A Documentary Film by Filmmaker Ira McKinley
  • We came across this remarkable story surfing the internet, and after speaking with filmmaker Ira McKinley, we decided to share his amazing story with our viewers.

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    THE THROWAWAYS tells the story of homeless filmmaker and activist Ira McKinley, documenting his quest to shed light on the struggle of people living on the margins of society and to challenge a system that oppresses them. McKinley aims to pull the curtain back for viewers and expose how the current economic crisis is having a devastating effect on those who have become throwaways, invisible to most, discarded by a system that has failed them.

    But THE THROWAWAYS isn’t just an illumination of marginalized people at their weakest moments, it is a call to action, it is the story of directly engaging in the struggle for economic and social justice. McKinley is not satisfied with simply exposing injustice, but pushes further, fighting for real changes seeking true transformation of his community in the South End of Albany, NY.

    THE THROWAWAYS traces McKinley’s past from his upbringing in Ithaca, NY, where at the age of fourteen his father was shot by police, to a prison cell in Staten Island during the September 11th attacks, to his chance at redemption when he learns camera and editing skills at a small public access television station in Northampton, MA.

    The film then follows McKinley as he joins the Occupy Wall Street protest just a week after the encampment is launched at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. As the movement spreads across the country, we journey with him as he travels to occupations in Atlanta GA, Washington DC, Durham, NC, Detroit, MI and McKinley’s hometown of Ithaca, NY, where he uncovers a city grappling with a string of suspicious shootings of young black men at the hands of police. McKinley eventually returns home and becomes an organizer and leader at Occupy Albany, bringing the gritty firsthand perspective of person who has spent the majority of his adult life living at the bottom of the 99%.

    THE THROWAWAYS broadens the scope of the issues and the potential solutions by including the voices of some of America’s most visionary thinkers as they share their thoughts with McKinley on the re-imagining of inner city America. Conversations with Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, Grace Lee Boggs, Van Jones, and Marjora Carter confront the realities of life in our most distressed urban neighborhoods, a reality most would rather turn away from. These exchanges aim to breakthrough the stagnant despair with voices of hope, proposing a revolution in thought and action as an inevitable and necessary starting point in reclaiming our communities.

    THE THROWAWAYS weaves McKinley’s personal narrative of survival with the stories of a mass movement rising up to challenge greed and corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. Speaking with his family members and neighbors on street corners, sidewalks and stoops, McKinley reveals the prevailing attitude in many inner-city neighborhoods that governmental systems and elected officials have failed, and that real hope lies in the power of the people.

    As he strives to make a difference, McKinley also confronts the unavoidable stories of his troubled past and engages in the fight against his own personal demons. We bear witness as he struggles to make positive change by organizing, occupying and standing up to make his voice heard.

    Ultimately THE THROWAWAYS aims to empower those who have been rendered invisible, to amplify the stories of those living on the fringes of a society that has rejected and forgotten them. It is a story of survival, of a person who resists against being discarded and refuses to be thrown away.

    To learn more about this documentary film you can visit their links below:




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