The Skyjacker’s Tale

Canada 2016. Dir: James Kastner. 75 min. DCP

“Tantalizing ... This ambitious documentary teases out a story that continues to fascinate.”

VANCOUVER PREMIERE | Eight people massacred at a country club in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1972. A contentious trial that becomes a cause célèbre for American civil rights advocates. An American Airlines flight hijacked to Cuba on New Year’s Eve, 1984. A fugitive in exile who spends 30 years on the FBI’s “most-wanted” list and now may spend the rest of his life in prison — for a crime he may or may not have committed. There’s drama and mystery aplenty in this Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary from Jamie Kastner (The Secret Disco Revolution). Digging into the strange tale of Ishmael Muslim Ali (aka Ronald LaBeet), former petty crook, U.S. soldier, and Black Panther militant, Kastner’s film probes a minefield of issues with contemporary resonance: race relations, income inequality, police misconduct, media sensationalism, and justice. “A layered portrait of the past that seems eerily, and sadly, much like our present" (Steve Gravestock, Toronto I.F.F.).