Critically-acclaimed documentary St. Louis Superman is making its broadcast television debut this week to bring the story of Bruce Franks Jr., a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives, to the nation. Here is what you need to know about the date, time, channel, premise, and more.
St. Louis Superman Date & Time: The broadcast television premiere of St. Louis Superman is Monday, May 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
St. Louis Superman Channel: The documentary will air simultaneously on MTV, MTV2, and VH1.
St. Louis Superman Premise: The documentary follows Bruce Franks Jr., a Ferguson activist and rapper who was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2016. He rose to prominence in the St. Louis area when he began leading protests following the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri, police officers.
The description of the documentary reads, “Known as ‘Superman’ to his constituents, Franks Jr. cuts a unique figure – an unorthodox politician who has overcome a tremendous loss to become one of the most dynamic and unapologetic young leaders in the country. Forced to deal with the trauma he’s been carrying for nearly 30 years after witnessing the shooting death of his nine-year-old brother, the film chronicles his work toward overcoming both personal trauma and political obstacles in an effort to pass a bill that is critical to his community. Only by confronting his pain can Franks Jr. find peace and truly fulfill his destiny as a leader.”
In November 2017, Franks was arrested during a protest as part of an economic boycott by African-American leaders in the St. Louis area. The boycott was over various issues, such as “police treatment of blacks to bank loan practices to infrastructure neglect in the northern part of St. Louis,” according to St. Louis Today.
St. Louis Superman Cast and Crew: The cast of the documentary includes Franks, and his son, King Bruce Franks III. It was directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan.
In an interview with POV Magazine, Khan says that when Mundhra heard about Franks story, they knew immediately this was the story they needed to tell because the story “is not only relevant now, but will be relevant in 20 years.”
He also said that Franks taught him what it means to be real with your children.
“Bruce taught me about being real with your kids, but then also being compassionate and giving them the skills to support themselves. Bruce also knows that his kids have it a little bit easier than he did. Bruce had a tough upbringing, especially losing his brother. [The film features Bruce’s experience as a child losing his older brother to gun violence.] His kids are still only as secure as an African American boy can be in Trump’s America, but that’s more secure than he was.”
St. Louis Superman Awards: The documentary was nominated for a 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject and also for the Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival. It also won multiple awards across the AFI Docs Festival, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the Indy Shorts International Film Festival, and the Traverse City Film Festival.
St. Louis Superman makes its broadcast television debut Monday, May 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, MTV2, and VH1.