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The Skyjackers Tale Written Review and Trailers

Yevette Renee Movie Review: THE SKYJACKERS TALE

Director/Writer: Jamie

Subjects: Ishmael Muslim Ali, Leroy Mercer, Margaret Ratner

Kunstler, William Kunstler, Michael Ratner Country: Canada
Genre: Documentary

A Fugitive or A Political Dissident in Exile?

Director Jamie Kastner captivating documentary THE SKYJACKER’S TALE, is a riveting story of Ishmael

Muslin Ali (formally known as Ronald Jean LaBeet) who high jacked an American Airlines flight to Cuba,

after his conviction of the murder of eight people at a golf course in St. Croix, US Virgin Island.

After 30-years, Ali speaks of his life experiences as a young man in St. Croix, coming of age during the

Vietnam War, which he fought on behalf of the US; his involvement in the Black Panthers and the many

struggles of black men on the Island.

Hearing the choices that he and so many men have had to make, going to jail or serving in the military

while having to endure the reality of police brutality, it is evident how much has not really changed for

men of color in the United States. Today, we see the struggles of the Black Lives Matters movement and

the backlash and demonization that they and their supporters face due to their persistent demands for to

be valued, treated as human being and being afforded basic rights granted by the constitution.

St. Croix enlisted the full force of the United States government to solve the crime and bring the

perpetrators to justice. Is that what happened? Ishmael has professed his innocence for 40-years. Did

they capture, arrest and convict those who were actually responsible? Or, in an effort to calm the fears of

a petrified white population, did they do what has been done in the past, arrest any man of color to hold

responsible for the crime.

As he reflects on his involvement with the Black Panther Party, it also begs the question, was his arrest a

means to disrupt and destroy the Panther? That end goal was certainly the case on the mainland of the


The original music by David Wall, Jamie Shields and Adam White provides a vibrant, pulsating beat that

transport one to the islands of Cuba and St. Croix. It keeps one immersed in the rich cultures where

Ishmael was born and the place he now calls home.

When one thinks of the continued hostilities between the United States and the Cuban government,

especially after the Cold War has ended, Cuba’s harboring of Ishmael, Assata Shakur and others can

easily be considered a major thorn in the side of the United States.

THE SKYJACKER’S TALE, is great movie worth seeing that has thought provoking questions, did

he hijack the plane as a way to avoid further punishment for a crime he committed or was it his only way

of preventing the remainder of his life spent in jail for a crime he did not commit?

Production Company: A Cave7 A Jamie Kastner Film; Director, Writer

and Producer: Jamie Kastner; Editor: Jorge Parra; Director of Photography:

Derek Rogers; Original Music by: David Wall, Jamie Shields and Adam White;

Ismael Muslim Ali (formerly Ronald Jean LaBeet), Leroy Mercer (Defense.

Attorney), Margaret Ratner Kunstler (Defense Attorney), William Kunstler

(Defense Attorney), Michael Ratner (Defense Attorney); Co-defendants:

Beaumont Gereau, Hanif Bey, Meral Smith, Malik El-Amin, Warren Ballantine,


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