×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Activists Tap ‘Three Billboards’ Messaging for Grenfell Justice and Gun Control

The fiery spirit of Mildred Hayes, the headstrong seeker of justice played by actress Frances McDormand in Martin McDonagh’s Oscar-nominated film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” is alive and well in the hearts of activists on both sides of the Atlantic.

A trio of mobile billboards has been deployed around London seeking answers in the September 2017 Grenfell Tower public housing blaze that claimed 71 lives. Spinning off the eponymous red and black facades in McDonagh’s film, the mobile billboards — created by the Justice 4 Grenfell activist organization — read: “71 DEAD.” “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?” “HOW COME?”

Meanwhile, a similar display has unfolded in the Miami area after a gunman killed 17 people in the latest stateside school shooting on Feb. 14. Organized by online activist network Avaaz, these three billboards call out Senator Marco Rubio for his inaction in curbing gun violence: “SLAUGHTERED IN SCHOOL” “AND STILL NO GUN CONTROL?” “HOW COME, MARCO RUBIO?” The truck-mounted billboards were spotted near Rubio’s Doral, Fla., office on Friday.

In McDonagh’s film, Mildred seeks answers in the case of her raped and murdered daughter with a trio of signs calling out the local sheriff, played by Woody Harrelson. It has become a controversial contender this season, deemed tone-deaf in some quarters for its handling of racism.

“I think some of [the criticism] comes from the idea that Sam [Rockwell]’s character is redeemed at the end of the film, and I don’t think he is,” McDonagh told Variety in his first address of the controversy last month. “The film isn’t about simple heroes and villains, and in no way does he become a hero in it. Part of the whole idea of the story is, ‘Who are the heroes and who are the villains and is anyone really that heroic?’ … The idea that there’s hope in a story like this, even with characters as despicable as Sam’s, I thought that was an interesting thing to explore.”

Despite the controversy, “Three Billboards” received top honors from regional film critics in Hawaii, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and London, as well as the Screen Actors Guild’s ensemble prize and the Golden Globe for best drama.

McDonagh’s film was ultimately nominated for seven Oscars including best picture, actress, supporting actor, and original screenplay. On Sunday, the film will compete for nine British Academy awards including best film, best British film, and best director.

More Film

  • Joker

    Korea Box Office: 'Joker' Remains on Top, 'Gemini Man' Lands in Fourth

    Warner Bros.’ “Joker” remained on top of the South Korean box office in its second weekend. The American psychological thriller earned $5.71 million from 768,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday, for a total of $28.3 million from 3.85 million admissions after two weekends. It accounted for 46% of total weekend box office in the country. [...]

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content