Channel 4 Is Airing A Four-Part Documentary On The Murder Of Damilola Taylor
A four-part documentary on the killing of Damilola Taylor has been commissioned by Channel 4.
The series, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the school boy's violent murder on a London estate, will comprise four one-hour episodes and will take an in-depth look at the aftermath on his death.
Named Damilola: The Boy Next Door, the film will be presented by Yinka Bokinni, a DJ and writer who was also a neighbour and childhood friend of Damilola.
The death of the youngster, who died alone in the staircase of a housing estate in Peckham, south London, shocked the nation when it hit headlines in November 2000.
It sparked his family's desperate six-year battle for justice which only ended when, following a series of lapses by the prosecution, brothers Ricky and Danny Preddie were sentenced to eight years in youth custody for manslaughter in October 2006. They were aged just 12 and 13 at the time of the murder.
Presenter Yinka will explore "the devastating impact Damilola's death had on her community, her area, and the lives of almost everyone she knew, confronting for the first time the impact of a tragic event which the children from the area have never felt able to discuss," according to Channel 4.
The broadcaster added: "In this film, Yinka will attempt to reconcile the two versions of her past and try to understand how the warm, loving and happy community she remembers so fondly from her childhood was presented in the media as a crime-ridden "sink estate" that was somehow to blame for the tragic loss of a young life."
She will also explore how the estate she grew up in - seen by some as a "notorious" hotbed of gangs, drugs and violence - was also "home to a warm and loving community".
Fozia Khan, commissioning editor of documentaries at Channel 4, said: "This deeply personal and important film, authored by Yinka Bokinni, makes us look at a story we think we know with fresh eyes.
"Although Damilola Taylor died 20 years ago, the questions Yinka asks and reflects on in the film have never felt more timely."
Yinka added: " I've never spoken about the murder of my childhood friend until now, I have lived my life with so many questions about what happened and why it happened in the place that I called home.
"To finally be telling the story feels both therapeutic and scary but I am ready to share this side of the story. Hopefully everyone will get to know the real Damilola, as he lived, a bit better."
Jaimie D'Cruz, creative director of Acme Films added: "Acme prides itself on telling stories that reflect the realities of life for people and communities whose voices are often silenced by simplified narratives and the rush to judgement.
"In revisiting an event that both shocked the nation and impacted young lives completely, Ashley Francis-Roy's powerful film explores childhood, trauma and the nature of unreliable memory, and discovers a brilliant new documentary talent in Yinka Bokinni."
Featured Image Credit: PA