Academy Award® nominee, Harris, plays Alicia West, an African American rookie cop who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body camera. After realizing the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.
Black and Blue is bold and packed with a plot that is extremely relevant for today’s society, perhaps more than any of its kind: the war happening in American, between the police and black Americans.
Cast Interview Highlights:
What message do you hope the audience will receive after experiencing such an action-packed yet thought provoking film?
Harris: I would love for the discussion to be as wide-ranging and to go on for as long as possible. It is designed to inspire discussion about things that are happening now. The main message is what Alicia says towards the end of the movie, “Be the change,” the fact that the change starts and ends with you. So often we want things to change outside of ourselves, and we look to other people to do it for us. We don’t utilize our power. Alicia is a wonderful example of that. She influences a community and a whole culture within her department, and she exposes that. I’d love people to take that message away.
Gibson: A movie like this was long overdue. How many more stories will flood our timelines, radio, morning shows with the topics around police brutality? Clearly the criminal justice system in American doesn’t cater to the needs or wants and any type of favoritism on any level towards black people and Latinos, which take up the majority of the prison population. Deon (director) grew up in the murder capital of the world, Gary, IN, and I grew up in a similar environment in Compton. Police corruption and abuse gives you Rodney King. The fact that Tupac was killed in Vegas and Biggie Smalls was killed in LA –there are so many unsolved murders where they have proof and evidence –Nipsey Hussle –the police somehow played a role in killing these black men and women of significance. The movie really takes people on this journey that is uncomfortable and unbearable, but it keeps you rooting for these characters, because you don’t want anything to happen to them, because you love what they stand for. We’ve seen enough slave movies. It’s important we support a movie for the culture that really represents what we’re actually dealing with everyday.
Do you feel, if more officers stood up against what is wrong, that the change could begin there?
Harris: It needs to begin sooner than that. You have the police who are trained in a kind of rare refined environment training with other police officers and they’re coming from communities outside of the communities that they police. It’s very easy for them, because they have so little contact with the communities that they’re policing to have empathy and to see the people that they’re policing as fellow human beings. The police should do some kind of social work within their communities – that would make a massive difference.
Black and Blue debuts in theaters worldwide this Thursday, October 24, 2019.
Featured Image by IMDb