Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested for failing to signal a lane change in Waller County, Texas, in 2015. Three days later, she was dead, having apparently committed suicide while in police custody. But, as the case took on nationwide notoriety and sparked street protests, family and friends were left with nothing but questions: What, after all, took a bright, energetic Black Lives Matter activist from the promise of a new job to a mysterious jail cell death in just three days? Academy Award®-nominated nominated filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner accompanied Bland’s family on their search for answers during the two years following her death. The result is a vigorous, unflinching case study in racial justice that also weaves in Bland’s own voice through her empowering online video series, “Sandy Speaks.” The character who emerges, beyond the flashpoint case, is a woman who dedicated her life to seeking out justice, and whose story and voice remain essential in the ongoing climate of racial injustice.
Director Kate Davis’s work is marked by a knack for gaining the trust and conjuring the intimate mood needed to create a gripping, moving narrative. In 2004, she won an Emmy® for her documentary, Jockey, produced by her Say Her Name co-directorDavid Heilbroner. Their shared credits also include the Peabody Award-winning Stonewall Uprising. In addition to his work as an award-winning documentary filmmaker, Heilbroner has also worked as a Manhattan prosecutor, a criminal justice professor, and author.
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