Film: Dispatches from Cleveland
A community united by a love for their city battle daily injustices to make true change
‘I didn’t ask to be a leader,” Samaria Rice explains, but “they made me a leader when they killed my son.’
Samaria is referring to the death of her 12-year-old son, Tamir, at the hands of the Cleveland police department in November 2014.
Dispatches from Cleveland is a feature-length documentary in five parts that closely examines the early 21st century, rust-belt city of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the most racially divided cities in America. The film follows ordinary people – long shaken by police misconduct, social discrimination, and poverty – whose love for their home pushes them to work together to bring about real change.
Spanning the 2015 Movement for Black Lives Convening to the 2016 Republican National Convention, the film weaves together the experiences of people using varied strategies to achieve similar goals, such as impacting down-ballot races. Depicting the intersecting movements in Cleveland, the film highlights that lasting change will come from prioritizing the lives of those most marginalized, This film presents a nuanced examination of a national movement as only documentary film can – focusing on an individual location and decisive characters during a crucial year.