Will Smith has been in his bag lately when it comes to producing content, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
His latest venture isn’t a movie, but rather a documentary that tackles the always complicated question, “What does it mean to be an American?” Given the racial tension around the country, the lack of leadership when properly dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the question may mean more now than ever before.
The six-part documentary is executive produced by Smith and Larry Wilmore. However, Amend: The Fight for America was created by Robe Imbriano and Tom Yellin to delve into the Fourteenth Amendment of the constitution, which, when signed in 1868, was meant to “promised liberty and equal protection for all persons.”
The deep dive into history won’t just feature Smith, but also Mahershala Ali, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Pedro Pascal, and Yara Shahidi, who will help read powerful speeches from those who fought to uphold the amendment’s power, like Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Andrew Johnson.
The trailer is narrated by Smith and opens up by showing some things synonymous with America like apple pie, baseball, and early forms of government. But soon, the clips turn to gunshots during the civil rights movement and even Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for his life.
“We are living in unprecedented days as a society, as a country, and as a human family,” Smith told Deadline. “I believe that the cultivation of personal and historical understanding is the imperative spark igniting the flames of desperately needed compassion and healing. As Americans, we endeavor to form a more perfect union that truly establishes justice and equality for all. I believe a deeper understanding of the 14th Amendment is a critical jumping off point.”
The six-part documentary airs February 17 on Netflix.