BEST OF THE FEST (RUNNER-UP)
Crime + Punishment
Stephen Maing’s urgent, gripping film is like a non-fiction Prince of the City – a sprawling and intricate look at corruption and intimidation in the NYPD. The specific issue is that of quotas for citations and collars, which have been ostensibly banned since 2010, but are still vigorously used as markers for success (and disciplinary action) – flying directly in the face of the kind of community-based policing that’s far more effective. Maing tells his story through the lens of the “NYPD 12,” a group of officers of color who spoke out against the department’s off-the-books policy (and how it effects black and Latinx neighborhoods), and were unsurprisingly targeted by their higher-ups afterwards. It’s a compelling story, handsomely mounted (it’s a great-looking movie, often a secondary concern in documentary), and if all the pieces don’t quite fit, that doesn’t dampen its considerable velocity.