criticism that severely affects OCD


We own this city et The wire are inevitably linked, and not just because they were created, written and produced by the same teams, that they take place in Baltimore, that they follow police officers in their fight against crime and their excesses and that ‘they are two excellent series, complementary to each other

Before becoming one of the biggest showrunners of the past two decades, David Simon was the Baltimore Sun’s crime reporter. What he saw and experienced during this period subsequently served him in the writing of his cult series, qualified by all superlatives. His position at the newspaper was later taken over by Justin Fenton, who learned along with everyone else in 2017 that: seven officers from an elite Baltimore police unit were arrested on charges of bribery, drug trafficking, fraud and organized extortion

One of the best roles in Jon Bernthal’s career (before the next)

About this scandal, which two years after the death of Freddie Gray during his arrest has caused a little more outcry for local authorities and the image of the police in the United States, the journalist wrote. a detailed book on the rise and fall of this brigade of undercover agents acting like a criminal organizationThe city is oursadapted for the screen on HBO by the same creators of The wire

On the other hand, even if they share sequences where law enforcement officials listen to tapes, many actors like Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jamie Hector, Domenick Lombardozzi or Delaney Williams and a whole host of other points in common, there is no reason to compare the two series† Already because Wayne Jenkins and the plainclothes agents of the Gun Trace Task Force behind this police corruption affair are closer to Vic Mackey and his Strike Team than Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon, but mostly because David Simon, Ed Burns and George have pelecanos no longer the same ambitions as then

Denouncing the indolence of institutions too busy protecting themselves but showing that there was still a glimmer of hope, Now draw a sad and bitter balance in this miniseries that resembles a six-part epilogue of The wire† As the poster says, nothing has changed, and it’s even worse than before.

We own this city: photoDagmara Dominczyk, sadly underused, like all good cops (in the series)

This IS America

Whether it’s his police, criminal and political immersion in Baltimore, his cultural and social exploration of the rubble of Hurricane Katrina, his desperate story of an elected official against a rusting structure, or his social fresco amid a pornographic revolution. in the New York of the 1970s, the tragic and fascinating characters of David Simon form a whole through which shed light on systemic and institutional failures in the United States† People who are crushed by the gears of an imperfect and dishonest machine or who, sometimes in spite of themselves, become the cog.

As the miniseries screenplay questions police brutality and its impact on African-American communities, the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015 and the ensuing riots (partially reproduced) marking a historical and narrative tipping point, We own this city is not intended as a mere criticism or an incriminating report against US police

We own this city: photoIn the urban jungle, uniforms rule

Through the story of Wayne Jenkins and his shock squad, who have multiplied lies, blunders and crimes with impunity thanks to their efficiency and influence, the screenplay describes a massive system of obfuscation and dysfunction that plagues the police and all layers of the hierarchy† From leaders with their policies of numbers and zero tolerance to curb rising crime, through blind or complicit deputies and prefects, to agents who allow themselves to be corrupted and abuse their power.

With as much precision and realism as in their previous works, David Simon, Ed Burns and George Pelecanos intertwine destinies, temporalities and intrigues to analyzing a society in need, holding up a mirror that seems too cracked to be repaired† A feeling that can be felt in the periods of violence, the moments under tension and throughout the season. In a jury composition scene where several people are challenged because of their police precedents or during a belated realization when it is necessary to face each other in the toilets of a police station.

We own this city: photoPolice and criminals

Thin blue line

However, We own this city also has its limitations and shortcomings. Time jumps are numerous, and even as the production tries to chronologically place the viewer using Jenkins’ dated activity reports like transitions and Jon Bernthal’s facial hair, the story gets a bit confusing while the flashbacks and confessions follow one another (which the aired episode by episode won’t fix).

For the production, the creative trio behind The wire appealed to Reinaldo Marcus Green, whose first feature, Monsters and men, revolved around what three residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood decided to do after the murder of an African American by a white police officer. The filmmaker who rose to fame with the appointment of The Williams Method at the Oscars, he films the interrogations and the course of events with particular care, trying to instill nervousness and raw realism with his camera. However, the staging and editing lack identity, bias and dynamism during the action scenes and the most tense passages.

We own this city: photo Jon BernthalA Monday like any other

Among the various cops, criminals and federal agents that the series follows, Wunmi Mosaku . interprets an idealistic lawyer of the Civil Rights Bureau, which is trying to understand the actions of the Baltimore Police Department while proposing an executive order to reform it thoroughly.

However, when she tries to cheat with a story of a lost brother, her character is mainly used to meet others so that they bring new anecdotes or exaggerate the intentions of the screenplay. A former police officer turned professor and teaching the ‘war on drugs’ is well camped out by Treat Williams, the corrupt cop of the Prince of New York the Sidney Lumet We own this city could be considered a contemporary version), but these repeated scenes of exposition dialogue give the impression that the writers were more concerned with developing their subject matter than their characters or their characterization.

We own this city: photoFather Beaver, tell us a story

Some, like DEA agents McDougall and Kilpatrick (David Corenswet and Larry Mitchell) disappear even after a few episodes while the storyline continues to focus on the long-established misdeeds of Jenkins and his crew. Redundancies that help create this sense of frustration and repetition at the heart of the story, but ultimately look like a list of accusations to support arguments that he presents.

Nevertheless, even if it’s not as rich or deep as it could have been, We own this city rest a dense and striking series of only six episodes, carried by un casting flawless, at all levels, from the main characters to the minor supporting characters. This new creation by David Simon, Ed Burns and George Pelecanos offers an exercise in conscious self-criticism accompanied by a reflection on the whole concept of police at a time when his blunders can be seen on all screens, on both sides of the Atlantic. And the result is as terrifying as it is exciting.

We Own This City kicks off on OCS April 26 with an episode airing every Tuesday in the US+24

We own this city : Affiche française

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