THE POLICE TAPES
Dir. Alan & Susan Raymond, 1977
USA, 88 min.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 7 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JULY 13 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, JULY 26 – 7:30 PM
An alarming and distressing look into the tumultuous work of the 44th Precinct police officers in the South Bronx (a one square mile area that, in 1976, had the highest crime rate in New York City), THE POLICE TAPES peels back the skin to reveal a city at war with the civil servants assigned to serve and protect them.
Utilizing some of the earliest Portapak video equipment available, filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond capture raw scenes of domestic violence, crime, and murder as well as the officers who gallantly try to maintain a sense of order in a neighborhood coming unraveled. What emerges is an uncensored portrait of a community fighting the consequences of urban poverty and the law enforcers' difficult task of remaining righteous in a soul-crushing job.
A vital landmark in cinema vérité, The Police Tapes influenced everything from HILL STREET BLUES to COPS and kickstarted the future Oscar-winning careers of Alan and Susan Raymond. To this day, the film maintains its striking power.
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