Not long before the letters BLM became indelibly inked on our collective consciousness, the death of two African American youth, killed by the Chicago Police, forever impacted the lives of another pair of millennials: social worker Janaé Bonsu and fellow revolutionary (and celebrated “Raptivist”) Bella Bahhs. A forward-looking dissenter, Janaé connected with the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an activist organization bent on bringing change to Black communities “through policy and direct action.” To Bahhs, “Our entire existence is resistance.” She holds her elders accountable for the mess they left for a new generation to clean up. She grew up with a gangbanger for a mother and has a different take on the stigma attached to the mob culture. To people who pin the responsibility for all of the city’s violence on gangs, Bahhs says that gangs teach leadership and organizational skills. That’s more than can be said for the Chicago Police Disciplining Board’s monthly meetings designed to give voice to (mollify?) members of the community. If footage from one such gathering is any indication, emotions bubble over while ineffectual board members look on, arms folded, heads nodding. In her defense, Lori Lightfoot, former top cop and current Mayor of Chicago, argued, “Young people have attempted to impose upon me… a power that I don’t possess. They want any police officer who kills an African American to be fired, stripped of their pension without any due process, any investigation.” If director Ashley O’Shay has anything to apologize for it’s selective subtitling. The on-the-fly audio recording such as it is makes it difficult to discern some of the more crucial dialog exchanges. Hopefully the version made available will be closed captioned. (2020) — Scott Marks
This movie is not currently in theaters.