This absolutely riveting and often angering documentary digs deep into this case and its aftermath, following Dontre’s family and surrounding community for three years. We get incredible access to Dontre’s mourning mother Maria and determined older brother Nate, both of whom become committed activists in the wake of Dontre’s killing. We also spend time with Milwaukee Police chief Ed Flynn, examining his response to Dontre’s case and the still-unfolding legacy of that response.
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 the victim, and watch his family’s transformation 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. Importantly, we also see the often-ugly role police unions and “blue lives matter” rallies can play in preserving an oppressive status quo. The setting may be Milwaukee, but it could just as well be anywhere—and it’s a film every concerned citizen here should see. (Eric Allen Hatch, Maryland Film Festival)