Reimagining Safety, Matthew Solomon’s incisive, insightful documentary that explores the challenges of addressing police abuse and misconduct while providing solutions for maintaining public safety, will screen as part of The People’s Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem on Sunday, June 04, 2023 at 12:30 p.m.
The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker as well as with Hawk Newsome, Co-founder Black Lives Matter NY, Black Opportunities and Dr. Alex Vitale, Professor of Sociology, Brooklyn College and author of best-seller, “The End of Policing.” Both Newsome and Vitale are also featured in the documentary.
Cut together with hard-hitting, contemporary news footage from such watershed moments as the brutal murder in May, 2020 of George Floyd and the ensuing protests in cities across the country, Reimagining Safety falls squarely in the center of a national debate on the best way forward in policing alternatives.
Taking as its premise that policing is not the only solution to all of society’s challenges in public safety, Reimagining Safety features wide-ranging, one-on-one interviews with some of the leading voices on the topic, including Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon; University of Southern California Professor of Law Jody Armour; Dr. El Jones, Chair, Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada; Alex S. Vitale, Professor of Sociology and author of “The End of Policing”; feminist and abolitionist Nikki Blak; and Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, among others.
Among the questions posed by the documentary are: is policing really the best answer to problems that occur in many neighborhoods? What can be done to address conflicts that arise from mental health crises? What is the best training or background for those whose job it is to defuse conflicts of various sorts? Reimagining Safety reimagines the goal of public safety by acknowledging what is not working and then offering humane and equitable alternatives.
With such provocative notions as “Defund the police” and “Abolish the police” framing the debate, Solomon solicits opinions from stakeholders in law enforcement, academia, and community activism to provide a cross-section of perspectives on how to address the scourge of police abuse. What emerges is a multi-faceted approach to problems inherent in modern society, with the challenges presented by ensuring public safety and a peaceful co-existence among all.
“As I was applying the concepts of sustainability and workable communities to the issues of policing and incarceration, I became more and more interested in what the alternatives could be. This film provides that conversation,” comments Solomon.
In addition to recent screenings at UCLA’s Science Policy Institute, Scripps College in Pomona, CA, in Memphis at Rhodes College in conjunction with Decarcerate Memphis and BLM Memphis, the film was named a Finalist for Best Documentary Feature at the Washington DC International Cinema Festival and was named Winner, Best Documentary Feature for the Crown Point International Film Festival in Chicago, IL.
For more information, or to watch the film’s trailer, please visit here.