Three years, almost to the day, after the shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer, director Sabaah Folayan and co-director Damon Davis’ “Whose Streets?” was released in theaters. Now in November, the film is available for streaming and on DVD.

An activist leads a protest in the film ‘Whose Streets?’ (Courtesy photo)

Tagged with the statements “When the cameras are gone the truth will be told” and “We will not go quietly,” the film’s theatrical release was simultaneous with the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, and the DVD comes out at a point where it seems, thankfully, that the time of  torch-wielding mobs may be over, if only for a moment.

Even knowing these release dates were planned long in advance of the summer of 2017, the releases still feel like an invitation to contrast and compare.

Mercifully, no one’s beaten bloody on camera, like DeAndre Harris (who’s since caught a felony charge after getting caught up in a six-on-one brawl with armed White supremacists). And no one was run down and murdered with a car. A frail line of protestors attempts to block a highway near the midpoint of the film. The creeping grills and screaming red faces behind the wheels hint at what could happen at any time. When an SUV bolts, plowing through the line people, it seems miraculous that no one was crippled or killed, like they were in Charlottesville.

It’s alarming how much tear gas is used in the film. While aesthetically it creates an otherworldly, haunting atmosphere: the fog glows in street lamps and headlights. It also wipes away the action literally and figuratively when the choking greenish-white curtain descends on the crowds. The Ferguson police use it early and often, it seems.

Its most galling use comes in the aftermath of the burning of a convenience store. City and police officials declare that they will not allow such reckless disregard for property. The following night, the police roll into the residential blocks, with nary a business in sight, and start up with the tear gas again. Firing sparking, spitting, steel canisters at muzzle velocity into sides of cars parked on the street.

It’s not all chaos and horror. In the five acts of the film, activists find their voices and their moment, some even find love and get married. David Whitt, previously profiled in this year’s “Copwatch,” is shown in a different light from a different perspective. As the first cameraman on the scene after the shooting of Brown, he seems uniquely conflicted with exposing the issues hurting Ferguson without inviting simultaneous scrutiny and voyeurism.

Between “LA 92” and “Copwatch,” “Whose Streets?” is part of a growing collection of works documenting Black unrest amidst a backdrop of extreme police violence. Like the others, “Whose Streets?” holds back on inserting the director’s voice into the narrative it creates, allowing people to tell their own stories and events to speak for themselves. Also, this film relies extensively on archival footage outside of the directors’ immediate creative control. Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that this film, like “Copwatch,” provides little insight into the internal psychology of the officers during the uprising.

The DVD features, in addition to directors’ commentary and more time with activist Kayla Reed, include an uninterrupted interview with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, a former resident of just outside Ferguson.

“Whose Streets?” is currently a Gotham Independent Film Awards nominee for Best Documentary. The ceremony will be held Nov. 27 in New York.