The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May this year was a watershed moment in race relations and the standing of law enforcement across North America, sparking riots, protests, and, we trust, systemic change. Deirdre Fishel’s film is a fascinating insiders’ account of how the Minneapolis PD struggled to reform itself in the wake of an earlier incident, the shooting of Jamar Clark by an officer in 2015, and in particular, attempts to diversify the force led by its first female Police Chief, Janeé Harteau.
Fishel follows half a dozen women of different ethnicities and various ranks - beat cops, sergeants and captains - each of whom is trying to make a difference, but all of whom are aware that they are in a small minority. With twists and turns worthy of The Wire, Women in Blue gives vivid explication to the ways that tensions within the workplace, on the street, and emanating from City Hall, can inspire - and stall - institutional change. There may not be a timelier movie in this year’s festival.
Includes an interview with Director: Deirdre Fishel
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.
Deirdre Fishel is a producer/director of documentaries and dramas that have premiered in competition at Sundance, SXSW, AFI and Full Frame and been broadcast in 35 countries worldwide. Her most recent documentary Care, which looks at the poignant but hidden world of home elder care, was funded by ITVS, the Ford and MacArthur Foundations and broadcast on America Reframed. Fishel is the Director of the BFA in Film/Video at the City College of New York.
Photo: ©Heidi Gutman
Risk (1993); Sperm Donor X (2010); Care (2016)