COMMUNITY PATROL (2018)
A Detroit minister rallies the community to shut down a drug house in an inspiring display of collective action. Observational, nonfiction cinema.
Directed by Andrew James
Produced by Sara Archambault, Jolyn Schleiffarth, Katie Tibaldi
Cinematography by Andrew James
Edited by Andrew James
Music by Shigeto
“Shot in vivid black and white, this observational, nonfiction film follows a Detroit minister as he tries to rally his community to shut down a drug operation. The minister and his neighbors act as a kind of moral chorus that symbolizes the activist spirit of Detroit—vociferous and passionate. A glimpse at neighborhood self-policing with a central message of love.” - Ashland Independent Film Festival
FESTIVALS / AWARDS
Winner - Best Mini Doc, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Winner - Special Jury Prize, Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston)
Official Selection - True/False Film Festival
Official Selection - Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection - Salem Film Festival
Official Selection - Ashland Independent Film Festival
Official Selection - Freep Film Festival
Official Selection - Bozeman Doc Series
Official Selection - Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston)
Official Selection - San Francisco Documentary Festival (SF DocFest)
"By documenting a specific act of collective action, the black-and-white Community Patrol focuses on the complexities of community policing in a Detroit neighborhood—it follows a group of ministers as they lead a march intended to disrupt the supply of a drug dealer who’s living and dealing next to a church [ . . . ] Despite its necessarily uncomfortable contents, the short both documents and further enables a needed dialogue regarding accountability and the concept of patrolling. Without editorializing, Community Patrol raises serious questions about who has the authority to control a neighborhood—as well as about how that authority is created, or maintained." - Dig Boston
"One of the least chronicled stories in the recent stream of documentaries about Detroit is how events and policies have invigorated community activists to claim the power of self-determination in the city’s neighborhoods through creative yet pragmatic strategies. In Community Patrol, which received Best Mini Doc honors at this year’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, Utah filmmaker Andrew James captures one example with gripping elucidation, as Malik Shabazz, a Detroit minister and founder of the New Marcus Garvey Movement/Black Panther Nation, and followers confront a liquor convenience store owner about a known drug house in the neighborhood. Within the 13-minute duration of the film, viewers see a master class of negotiation and persuasion. Shabazz never misses a beat, as he also makes clear that the situation can be resolved without jeopardizing or compromising further the future or life of another young person." - The Utah Review
It’s been widely reported that Detroit is making a comeback, but long-term residents of Detroit’s mostly black neighborhoods aren’t seeing much benefit. Crime, lack of opportunity and infrastructure problems still persist. Community Patrol explores neighborhood self-policing through the eyes of Minister Malik Shabazz, a long-time Detroit activist and community organizer. Determined that more black men don’t end up in jail or killed, the minister confronts drug offenders directly rather than reporting them to the police.
Community Patrol is supported by the Sundance Institute, the San Francisco Film Society and Film Independent.