Film Screening: IF I DIE TONIGHT

A newly released feature-film about police brutality in New York City

Wednesday, JANUARY 13, 2010
Film begins at 7:30pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, Auditorium H-110
(Guy-Concordia Metro)

FREE. Wheelchair accessible. The film is in English (no subtitles).

Part of QPIRG Concordia’s KEEPING IT REEL Subversive Cinema Series, in collaboration with the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP) and the upcoming Forum Against Police Violence and Impunity (January 29-31, 2010).

View the film trailer HERE.

Synopsis and Director’s Statement:

A unique and provocative view into the great divide between “the people” and “the police”.

“No justice!” “No peace!” “No justice!” “No peace!” In recent years, the rising of this chant from the streets has escalated in answer to seemingly endless incidents of police brutality. When filming started on IF I DIE TONIGHT, following the shooting of Amadou Diallo by four members of the controversial and elite New York City Police Department Street Crimes Unit, we were simply going to follow this chant through the streets of New York City. We couldn’t. When we got into the streets ourselves, we found individual stories that had to go deep. And, we couldn’t ignore the breadth of this issue by leaving out the other side of the story–we had to go to the police. So, IF I DIE TONIGHT became:

Amadou Diallo’s father lamenting “When I came here, I saw many people crying ‘Victim of police brutality’.” “Now, I am one of them.”

And, it became….Maureen King, the widow of slain Long Branch, New Jersey police sergeant Patrick King, musing, “Your life just changes in a split-second, forever.”

It became revisiting the scene of the crime with Nicholas Heyward, Sr., a Brooklyn father who lost his 13-year-old son Nicholas Heyward, Jr. to police gunfire, and a New Jersey state trooper being brought to tears as he describes memories of his police work. It became victims’ advocates and a congressman and a community police officer and young men of color from Brooklyn, describing what it’s like to be a police target, and, oh yes, it still has the people in the streets … in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Manhattan, Boston …

Although the film’s backdrop is the Eastern United States, these scenarios play out over and over from Los Angeles to Atlanta, from Canada to Mexico, from the favelas of Brazil to the cities of Europe and Asia.

IF I DIE TONIGHT is not a “documentary from a distance”. Whether or not one agrees with their viewpoints, the characters elicit instant rapport with and compassion from their audience as they re-live their experiences. IF I DIE TONIGHT is a film about racial profiling, police brutality and the system that allows these enigmas to exist and persist, as seen through the lives and stories of those who are living on both sides of an impenetrable divide.

(USA 2009, 92 minutes. Written, produced and directed by Seyi.)

Organized by QPIRG Concordia, in collaboration with the Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP) and the Forum Against Police Violence and Impunity.



~ par jbsone sur décembre 22, 2009.

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