Darius Monroe was 17 years old living in Texas when he committed a crime that would shape the course of his life. He and two friends robbed a bank in their hometown making off with tens of thousands of dollars. He was caught and spent 5 years in prison. A decade later, he returned home to try to figure out what impact his crime had on his family and the others who were in the bank that day.
“I was able to see that I had become consumed by the crime,” says Monroe, “Doing the crime itself, going to prison, my family was consumed by the fear that I wouldn’t survive it. But the people that truly had to endure trauma and go through these events weren’t the focus and they should have been the focus.”
The actual crime took less than two minutes. Monroe and his friends ran into the bank and held the customers up at gunpoint. “We drove up to the bank that morning, and waited in the car. We decided to finally get out of the car and go do it. We were inside the bank for a minute or a minute and a half but it felt like time had slowed down” he says. They left with tens of thousands of dollars. Darius brought his share home and left it on the bed for his mother.
His family, while shaken by the crime, rallies behind Darius, actively helping Darius hide the money. “This film is the first time where you see my parents admitting the truth. Back when this court case happened in 1998, I didn’t implicate my parents. I didn’t even mention it because I didn’t want them to go to jail. Because of the statute of limitations I could finally interview them.”
The film follows Darius as he tries to make amends with not only his family, but each person in the bank that day. Some encounters are more successful than others. “I really had not prepared myself emotionally for their responses. I didn’t know how I was going to respond. When you hear people say how they were feeling, to say that they didn’t say goodbye to their wife or daughters, that they thought that was going to be the last day on earth for me, it shakes you to your core.”
Darius Monroe will screen his film Evolution of a Criminal on Friday at 1:10pm. You can find out more information at http://www.fullframefest.org