Rarely do I find something on Youtube that literally crawls into my soul and crushes me. My Brother Jordan is not necessarily a story I’d seek out myself. It’s filled with sadness and it’s about missing a part of you that can never be replaced. In a grander scheme of things, it’s a love letter to an amazing brother. And I mean.. just thinking about it is making me cry but I don’t regret clicking on a documentary video on Youtube and ending up here.
My Brother Jordan is an intimate look into the family of Justin Robinson but more importantly into the life of his big brother Jordan. Now I have no connection to the Robinsons. I’m not religious. Not necessarily a fan of basketball. I don’t even have any siblings nor have I really experienced grief. But for some reason, Youtube was like, you’ll like this and so I clicked on the video and cried for the next hour.
There’s something about the rawness of My Brother Jordan that simply gets to you. It’s compiled with home videos and interviews that describe Jordan as he was. And there’s not a single part of you that thinks for a minute that you would not like Jordan. (Little Jordan calling baby Justin his baby – instant tears.) Which I think is why it hurts so much. Life is unfair and takes away people from us that don’t deserve it. And even for an outsider, a complete stranger, it’s easy to see that Jordan deserved more life he was given.
From minute one you know this is a loss Justin and people who knew Jordan still feel deeply. It’s evident that this documentary has taken years but it feels more important than a passion project. It’s cathartic. Because in My Brother Jordan we see the happy and joyful times. The silly and fun home movies they made as kids. All while people closest to Jordan and the Robinsons tell us how much his big brother meant to Justin and how they shared a connection with basketball. And then the documentary revisits the cancer and by this time you almost feel like a part of the family. So the loss weighs heavy on you as well.
I mentioned before that it feels raw and I think it’s because there’s no ego in this. It’s not about making a cinematic documentary or creating dramatic moments. My Brother Jordan is just about sharing a story. It’s honest and it’s beautiful, even though it’s also super sad. It doesn’t rush, nothing feels out of place – you can tell there’s a lot of care and love that went into this documentary.
But man does My Brother Jordan tear your heart out because it’s basically about opening up a wound that probably never really healed nor will ever truly heal. And taking you along on the journey of telling your brother how much you love him… even though he’s not here to hear those words himself.
Four years after Jordan’s death, Justin set out on an 8 year journey to bring his brother’s story to life. With the help of 102 interviews and 300+ home videotapes, equaling 450+ hours of footage, “My Brother Jordan” chronicles Jordan’s life and death and paints the bond of brotherhood between Jordan and Justin Robinson.