Netflix recently released "When They See Us" - the real story of unjustly convicted African American teenagers who, under police pressure, testified against each other and were sentenced to sentences ranging from six to seven years. Ava Duvernay's high-profile project has already rocked the States and sparked a powerful discussion. We talk about the new series and remember eight more films where the police crossed the line of the law.
When they see us
When They See Us, 2019
Producer: Ava Duvernay
Mini-series based on the true story of the Central Park Five. In 1989, in Central Park, New York, a 28-year-old white woman, investment banker Trisha Mailey, was beaten and raped after she went out for a run that evening. As a result of her injuries, she spent twelve days in a coma. On the same evening, a series of petty hooliganism took place in the park, committed by about thirty teenagers of African American and Latino descent.
Five of them - Kevin Richardson (14 years old), Entron McCrae (15 years old), Yousef Salaam (14 years old), Corey Wise (16 years old) and Raymond Santana (14 years old) - under pressure from the police, without the presence of their parents and after several hours interrogation, they testified against each other - out of five young people, only two had known each other before. As a result, each of them received a sentence and served from six to seven years. Only in 2002, the real criminal confessed to what he had done. A painfully unfair tale of lawlessness and racism told by Ava Duvernay, director of the equally problematic film Selma.
Producer: Luc Besson
Luc Besson's legendary film about the professional hitman Leon (played by Jean Reno) and his friendship with his teenage neighbor Matilda (first role Natalie Portman), whose family is shot by corrupt police from the anti-narcotics department, needs no introduction. In addition to the obvious merits, "Leon" is notable for the fact that it presented the world of cinema with one of the main antiheroes of the 20th century - the head of the police group Norman "Stan" Stanfield, performed by Gary Oldman. With his appearance, Oldman's corrupt and mentally unbalanced hero subsequently inspired more than one negative film character.
Producer: Alexey Balabanov
One of the most difficult films for perception by Alexei Balabanov and, in principle, one of the most brutal Russian films, the opening credits of which warn that it is based on real events. 1984, the action takes place in two fictional provincial cities of the USSR, Nizhniy Voloka and Leninsk and tells about the unpunished captain Zhurov, who kidnaps the daughter of the secretary of the district committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Agniya Kuznetsova) and then subjects her to indescribable violence. During breaks, he also does not deny himself the pleasure of exceeding his authority and using a service tool when it is impossible by law to do so, but does not bear punishment for any of these things. And twelve years after the release of "Cargo 200", the debate continues about whether this is the best film by Balabanov or just chernukha.
The Place Beyond the Pines
The Place Beyond the Pines, 2012
Producer: Derek Sienfrance
A film-saga directed by the director "Valentines", which tells about the intertwining of the fate of two families, which begins with a tragic police error. In order to feed his one-year-old son, whose existence he only recently learned, Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) steps into the path of crime and starts robbing banks. After an unsuccessful attempt and subsequent police chase, he is trapped in an apartment building, where he is killed by a young police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper).Subsequently, fate confronts the teenage sons of Glanton and Cross, but it is the first part that shows the rotten side of the police system, in which unpunished officers can use their power to recognize a shot at a person as absolutely legal, and then also take money from the mother and child who remain without a breadwinner.
Rambo: First Blood
First Blood, 1982
Producer: Ted Kotcheff
The reference action movie about the Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), who, in an attempt to find his comrades, encounters Sheriff Will Teasle - he takes Rambo for a homeless person and orders him to get out of the city. But John goes back and thereby launches a whole chain of events in which he becomes a victim, and the unpunished police stop at nothing to catch him. Unlawful detention, beating, persecution - having driven Rambo into a corner, the police, themselves not realizing this, eventually unleash a real war, which they themselves are not happy with.
Producer: Sydney Lumet
Frank Serpico is a real-life New York police officer who discovered a corruption network in his precinct and refused to become a member of it. Sidney Lumet's film, starring Al Pacino, is based on the biography of Serpico and spans the twelve years of his life. Because of his honesty, Frank quickly becomes the object of ridicule and hostility from colleagues, and because of her, he decides to expose the vicious system no matter what. Despite the fact that this leads to problems in his personal life and even threats, he manages to complete what he started and become the first police officer in New York history to publicly declare systematic corruption.
Producer: Katherine Bigelow
The 2017 film by Katherine Bigelow was released exactly to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 riot in Detroit. No one could have imagined that a party in honor of the return home from the Vietnam War of several veterans would lead first to an unwarranted raid into the club, and then to an uncontrollable riot, the catalyst of which would be the events at the Algeria Motel. As a joke, one of his guests will fire a flare gun at the police, which will be mistakenly perceived as a sniper attack and will anger the police so much that they break into the motel and start mindlessly killing innocent people. The "Detroit" is based on the memories of the participants in the events and the available documents about what happened.
La haine, 1995
Producer: Mathieu Kassowitz
Another cult French film - for which director Mathieu Kassowitz received the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Director. The black-and-white picture immediately begins with news reports showing the riots provoked by police brutality against Abdel, an Arab teenager who ends up in hospital.
During the riots, one of the policemen loses a pistol, which is found by Vince (Vincent Cassel) - one of Abdel's friends, who now intends to avenge him if his comrade dies. Kassowitz sat down to write the script the day Makome Mbovole, a Zairian teenager, was shot dead at a police station in France. He was killed point-blank while being handcuffed to a battery. According to the policeman, he was angered by Makome's words and started threatening him with a pistol, which accidentally went off.
In the name of the father
In the Name of the Father, 1993
Producer: Jim Sheridan
In the name of the father is also based on real events that took place in the English city of Guildford. On October 5, 1974, in the midst of the conflict in Northern Ireland, explosions thundered in two of Guildford's pubs. Two months later, police arrested four unrelated people, who later became known as the Guildford Four. One of them - Jerry Conlon, played by Daniel Day-Lewis - was in London during the explosion, where he visited his aunt.After the arrest of the four, the police seized both his aunt's entire family and his own father.
Under pressure from the police, the members of the four gave false testimony - all confessed to a crime that they did not commit. In the film, Conlon ends up in prison with his father (in fact, this was not) - they have to spend fifteen years in the same cell. In order to understand his character as best as possible, Day-Lewis spent a lot of time in a real prison cell next to the inmates.
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