“Time & Place ‘In the life of B and K'” a Story Birthed in Revolution and Built for the Big Screen

Fighting Injustices

Khalil Coleman hypes up protestors as The Peoples’ Revolution marches for change. (Picture by Nick Hansen, Art saves Lives MKE)
Khalil Coleman hypes up protestors as The Peoples’ Revolution marches for change. (Picture by Nick Hansen, Art saves Lives MKE)

In the fight against racism and police brutality, The People’s Revolution (TPR) made it a mission to send a message and march across every inch of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.

From boycotting businesses that have participated in over-policing, to pulling up to racists’ doorsteps with a party, TPR has made it very clear that racial injustice was not welcome in Wisconsin.  

The movement sparked after former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020. The viral video of George Floyd’s death caused shockwaves across the world. It especially hit home in Milwaukee, where there have been multiple traumatic police-involved shootings.

Three months later, Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake during a domestic incident on August 23, 2020. TPR joined Kenosha to voice their pain. The movement double-downed and committed to surpassing the 200 nights of protest during the 1967-1968 Open Housing Marches in Milwaukee.

Khalil Coleman, a local activist, had been leading the movement since its inception. Whether he was on the front lines dodging tear gas or attending Fire and Police Commission meetings, he had been advocating for change.

Khalil Coleman at a book signing for his sequel, “Time & Place ‘In the life of B and K:’” Keylanda’s story. (Picture by Robert Bell)

A decade earlier, he wrote about the same issues and experiences from a local youth’s perspective.

College Student to Author

What began as a college writing assignment manifested into a full-fledged novel and lesson plan. In his first book, “Time & Place ‘In the life of B and K,’” two inner-city teens, B and K, navigated societal and economic issues while reeling in the loss and frustration of a police-involved shooting in their community.

After creating his program, “Changing Lives with Literature,” he discussed B and K’s stories while working in local schools and youth detention centers. He released the sequel, “A Time and Place: Keylanda’s Story,” in 2018, which further touched upon community activism and a female’s perspective in the community.

Victor Barnett Jr. during test shoots. (Picture courtesy Bullhorn Films)
Victor Barnett Jr. during test shoots. (Picture courtesy Bullhorn Films)

“This story has always been relevant,” Coleman said. “We’re looking at a long time of this story being manifested in the minds of young people, and I think everywhere it goes it has the ability to resonate with, not just young people of color, but everybody that could be put in this position.”

Coleman said no matter who it was, after reading the book, the question always came up, “When’s the movie coming out?

The Making of A Film

Right before he took the reins at TPR, he was working on fundraising for the film. With the timing of the movement and the marches, he put his movie plans on the back burner.

Niya Winston is set to play Keylanda for the upcoming film. (Picture by Bullhorn Films)

While he invested his life into voicing the communities’ frustrations, others in the movement saw the beauty in his vision and stories.

Local progressive filmmakers Bullhorn Films had been documenting the protests from the beginning. Producers Iza Diaquíno, Sean Kafer, Jessica Klein, and Madeleine Schweitzer were out filming every day with TPR.

“People had all these different theories why they [TPR] were out protesting, so we wanted to give that voice to people,” Kafer said. “We kept our distance at first because we didn’t know if protestors wanted to be filmed or not. By around day 13, Khalil was more comfortable with us filming, and we began talking to him more.”

They eventually became a tight-knit unit, and the idea for the movie was brought up during a conversation.

“Khalil is such a strong voice to the community. He can tell a story, and he can tell the truth,” Klein said.

She added that the film was a way to push the narrative further than strictly voicing their frustrations in the streets.

“It’s a beautiful story that needs to be told,” she said.

Diaquíno said one of the most important things brought up in meetings was that the youth and community were heavily involved in the filmmaking process

“It’s a big project that can be something beautiful and known,” Diaquíno said.

The Bullhorn Films team at the MidCoast MKE fundraising event. (Picture courtesy Bullhorn Films)

Local actors Victor Barnett Jr. and Niya Winston have signed on to play lead roles B and K. They have been on board since the film’s original inception.

“I’ve read a lot growing up, but not one book that I have read has ever spoken to me like ‘Time and Place’ has,” said Winston in a press release.

“It’s starring people from Milwaukee—this environment. We’re keeping it very grassroots, very local, so we are able to tell the story and enhance the vision for the City of Milwaukee,” Coleman said.

Bullhorn Films is currently fundraising for the project and starting test shoots. Kafer said making an independent film wasn’t the expensive part, but instead, making one where everybody got paid fairly was what made their budget bigger.

“We want to make sure every person and position is paid fairly, and we want to make that a strong statement in the Milwaukee filmmaking scene,” Kafer said.

“Time and Place” is much more than an independent film from Milwaukee; it’s an opportunity for the people to unite behind a touching and timely story. They ask anybody interested in donating or being a part of the film to reach out.

“We’re excited to work with young people and teach them some new skills, all while coming together to help our community,” Schweitzer said.

To donate click here.

Find out more information about “Time & Place” ‘In the Life of B and K’.

Dylan Deprey

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top