A new documentary premiering on HBO next month offers us a look in the mirror two and a half years out from the Uprising that ignited with Freddie Gray’s death.
Directed and co-produced by none other than Sonja Sohn (aka Det. Kima Greggs of “The Wire”), “Baltimore Rising” covers the circumstances surrounding Gray’s death in police custody in April 2015, and the tides of activism, violence and attempted police reform that began directly after.
Most know by now that the Uprising was the culmination of many years of ingrained tensions between black Baltimoreans and the city’s police officers. As a detective quoted in the film’s trailer (below) put it, Gray’s death wasn’t cause alone for what happened, but it “was that last straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Sohn’s film features activist and writer Kwame Rose front and center, and contrasts the burst in local activism in 2015 with the police department’s commitment maintaining order and public safety. Memorable scenes replayed in the trailer include Rose confronting Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera in the street and getting arrested while protesting.
The documentary also follows a young activist named Makayla Gilliam-Price, community leaders and gang affiliates, among others.
Sohn has been working on this for awhile. When news broke about her documentary last winter, it had a different title: “For the Love of Baltimore.” The actual name is identical to the title of an exhibition that ran at MICA last November.
The film will premiere Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. on HBO.