In a nutshell, COPWATCH is a powerful exposition of We Copwatch, an organization (spear-headed by Jacob Crawford) whose only mission is to film police activity, utilizing a non-violent approach to protest and deescalate police brutality. The organization consists of regular citizens picking up cameras and planting themselves as witnesses to police actions of their own and hold law enforcement responsible if things get out of line. The film’s spotlight consists of the following: Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s horrid arrest in Staten Island, NYC and ignited protests across the world, and Kevin Moore, who filmed Freddie Gray’s arrest in Baltimore. The irony of it all is the only person who found himself under arrest and ping-ponged by the system is Orta, as his new found “fame” leads to complicated results.
Fitting for modern times, educational, passionate, and full of heart, COPWATCH is a must-see film. It’s one that’ll help you view it from an opposite end. One that isn’t pumped by some ratings-filled corporate news entity, or biased prints. Some will take this film as anti-police or providing sympathy for the “bad guy(s),” but nothing could be further from the truth. Quite frankly, its neutral approach presents those who would be considered trouble-makers more on the side of the law. One that empowers citizens of a great democracy to do what’s right.
Director Camilla Hall does a fantastic job introducing its audience to these new found “rogue journalists” whose passion is to simply defuse the ever-so-complexity that’s harshly been exposed to the world. Strategically presented, what this film displays is amazing, disturbing, shocking, and frightening to be honest. COPWATCH is a thought-provoking piece that will add more debates and discussions regarding an issue already in effect throughout the nation. The result of all this lies within us, the people, but… how much power or voice do we have when we’re going against a system designed to keep itself clean?
Grade: A / Genre: Documentary / Run Time: 1:40
Starring: Ramsey Orta, Jacob Crawford, Kevin Moore, David Whitt
Directed by: Camilla Hall
TFF2017 Festival Screening Info: https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/copwatch-2017
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