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Directed by Erik Ljung
98 min | 2017 | USA | Not Rated
Presented with Open Captions.
On April 30, 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee police officer responding to a non-emergency wellness check in a popular downtown park.
Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre’s death, this intimate verite documentary follows his family as they struggle to find answers and challenge a criminal justice system stacked against them. Offering a painfully realistic glimpse inside a movement born out of tragedy, this explosive documentary takes a behind the scenes look at one of America’s most pressing social issues.
Director Erik Ljung has meticulously crafted a piece of essential viewing, one that has much to contribute to our understanding of the ongoing epidemic of police violence. We get to know Dontre, and watch as his family transforms into activists. We see the complex layers of engagement when a mourning family’s desires diverge from those of fellow activists, and feel their frustration and anger with institutional responses.
The setting may be Milwaukee, but it could just as well be anywhere—and it’s a film every concerned citizen here should see.
Winner: Audience Award–2017 Milwaukee Film Festival; Official Selection: 2017 SXSW Film Festival