Genre: Documentary, History
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director(s): Sierra Pettengill
Writer(s): Tobi Haslett
Narrator: Charlene Modeste
Where To Watch: Limited theatrical release and streaming 9/16
I feel I’ve overused that quote, but unfortunately, when films like this come around, they tend not to show their age as much as I’d like. The more things change, the more they stay the same. With the regular reminders of police brutality in this country, we have continued to go in more of a circle than a straight line forward. It’s more than a little disheartening, and while I appreciate films like this on multiple levels, the constant reminder of how little this country has advanced is hard to see.
You can genuinely see people's intentions and thoughts on the subject as you read reviews. It’s one thing not to appreciate the film; it’s another thing entirely to brush this off as propaganda. That type of thought keeps us in this loop and honestly says more about you as an individual. We should be the most advanced we are as a species now; instead, you can often tell precisely what type of person you’re dealing with from just a few words.
The only real issue I had with the film was that I wish they had been able to find a narrator to give us the information that would regularly pop up on screen between the use of the archival footage. It may have been an intentional choice, but I think it would have been far more impactful to break the film up with a vocal representation of these bits of information.
To believe that the US took part in these “law and order” practices that were more of an excuse to single out and openly attack groups of people was so hard to see. I can only imagine all of the methods and footage that wasn’t captured; if what was filmed was this bad, I can only imagine what wasn’t.
One of the most complex parts of this film was that these terrible actions you see on screen were not only okayed but often openly pushed by “the nation’s rulers–politicians, bureaucrats, police.” Wait… that doesn’t sound much different than today.
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