In his first feature-length film, Monsters and Men, Reinaldo Marcus Green presents three different perspectives on a police shooting that is captured by a bystander. It's a refreshing—and harrowing—look at how vastly different we experience something that we might assume to all feel the same way about.
Listen to Rebecca Carroll talk to Green on WNYC about his new film, below.
As a native of Staten Island, Green was especially affected by the 2014 police killing of Eric Garner in front of a neighborhood deli that was very familiar to him. The film, in fact, was sparked by a conversation about Garner that Green had with a friend, who is also a police officer.
"What started out as a conversation between two friends ended in a pretty heated debate," Green said, noting that his friend talked a lot about what the job was like. "It ended up with my police officer friend basically in tears. It was a pretty powerful thing."
Green said it would have been easy to dismiss his friend's viewpoint. Instead, "It made me uncomfortable. I think it will make a lot of people uncomfortable. But it's important. Sometimes I think we need to get to that place of discomfort in order to move past it."
Rebecca Carroll is a cultural critic and Editor of Special Projects at WNYC, where she develops, produces and hosts a broad array of multi-platform content, including podcasts, live events and on-air broadcasts. Rebecca is also a critic at large for the Los Angeles Times, and a regular columnist at Shondaland in addition to Gothamist. She is the author of several interview-based books about race and blackness in America, including the award-winning Sugar in the Raw, and her personal essays, cultural commentary and opinion pieces have been published widely.