“Two Distant Strangers” directors Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe turned heads at the 2021 Oscars with their coordinating black and gold suits. But their getups weren’t just about style — they also paid tribute to victims of police brutality.
Free and Roe won the Oscar on Sunday for Best Live Action Short Film for “Two Distant Strangers,” which tells the story of a man who gets stuck in a time loop, forcing him to relive his own death at the hands of a cop. In the same vein, the filmmakers wore suits with the names of Black people who have been killed by police in recent years. George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Rayshard Brooks and Stephon Clark were among the names scrawled on the inside lining of the directors’ suit jackets and printed on their shoes.
See a photo of the inside of the suit below.
Upon winning their Oscar on Sunday, Free and Roe also took the opportunity to address police brutality in their acceptance speech.
“Today, the police will kill three people. And tomorrow, the police will kill three people. And the day after that, the police will kill three people because on average, the police in America every day kill three people,” Free said onstage. “So I just ask that you please not be indifferent. Please, don’t be indifferent to our pain.”
“Two Distant Strangers” was Roe’s second Oscar-nominated project — he was up for the same award in 2012 for writing and co-producing “Buzkashi Boys.”