The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul presents Crime + Punishment

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This article was written by Janet Zahn

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, in collaboration with the Capri Theater and the Minnesota Historical Society, presents the documentary, Crime + Punishment, with a post-film conversation led by Minneapolis attorney James Selmer, at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 3 at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway. Tickets to First Thursday Films are $5; purchase in advance at or at the door the night of the show.  

Crime + Punishment chronicles the real lives and struggles of 12 Black and Latino New York City whistleblower cops who risk their careers and safety to bring light to harmful policing practices that have plagued the precincts and streets of New York City for decades. These harmful practices include a strict system that requires police officers to meet a monthly quota of arrests and summons. The film also follows the case of Pedro Hernandez, a victim of this quota practice who was imprisoned in Rikers Island for over a year for a crime he did not commit.

Director Stephen Maing had unprecedented access to the NYPD and shot the film over a period of four years.

“Through sensitive portraiture and vigorous investigative reporting, [the film] tracks the struggle of minority police officers within the NYPD to reshape the culture of law enforcement itself,” wrote Alan Scherstuhl in The Village Voice.

Each First Thursday Films screening at the Capri is followed by a passionate discussion of the movie. For Crime + Punishment we welcome James Selmer, President and Managing Partner at J. Selmer Law, P.A. in Minneapolis.  Selmer has over 35 years of experience handling a variety of transactional matters as well as complex multiparty cases in state and federal district courts. He’s known for his use of sound judgment and common sense, as well as his effective communication, negotiation and trial skills – all of which will certainly add distinct insights and perspectives to the post-film conversation.

This screening of Crime + Punishment is one of several First Thursday Films this season shown in conjunction with The 1968 Exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS).

The First Thursdays series continues in February with Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami on February 7; Black Panther on March 7; and the 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, with several screenings at the Capri during its April 4-20 run.

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First Thursday Films @ the Capri is presented and curated by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul as part of Black Cinema: Under the Skin, a program of films by Black filmmakers and exploring Black culture and experience. Topical and relevant in these turbulent times, Black Cinema aims to create a space for dialogue and better understanding. First Thursday Films @ the Capri is generously supported by Film Society Masters Bill and Michelle Pohlad, the Minnesota Historical Society and Target.