Monday, August 9, 2021




To be frank, this film is nothing special as it relates to the subject matter. It’s always been an open killing season of innocent African-American people by Police officers since the start of law enforcement. We are consistently painted as animals with criminal intent and therefore “hunted” the only difference is that people can now record these murders.

In the film “Blindfire” we take a very deep dive into the shattered lives of an African-American family after a white cop, Officer Bishop (Brian Geraghty) responds to a hostage call and kills an innocent African-American whom he claims was the subject. Then there is a twist. This might have been a setup and facing trial, the white cop must find the person responsible while examining his accountability.

To say that situations in this film are “complicated” is putting it lightly. The story is told from the point of view of the troubled officer. There is a problematic agenda that runs through this film. From the very beginning internal affairs re-writes what happened and the officer, knowing it’s a lie responds with throwing up. Oh, if only every guilty murdering police officer could have that degree of conscience. 

It becomes clear very quickly that the filling is a “blind fire” a term used to describe hundreds of murders by the police. The kind of murders that cause groups to organize (Black Lives Matter), protest, and cause a lot of heat. The facts are that Officer Bishop fired and murdered this innocent African-American man, a pillar of the community, a loving husband and father because he misread his actual existence on this earth as a “threat” and his team, at the police department, is working to shape the narrative that the “shoot was in self-defense” (it wasn’t) and it quickly becomes clear to the brass that it won’t hold up to scrutiny.

Now to the murdered victim (Chiké Okonkwo) we barely get a glimpse of his life. From the POV of the murdering officer, he was a big man with tattoos and a pullover hoodie. In reality, this murder victim was a well-loved high school football coach, and on the day of his death, he was watching the game with his little girl. This “call” of a growing “hostage situation” with a clear white voice on the other end, is called “swatting” — a prank that sent the police to a nonexistent “crime” which, for the responding officer, had already painted a dangerous set of expectations.  

Officer Bishop we learn is a flawed character with driving problems and is living in a motel because he’s in the process of getting divorced. We get it. His job is hard but the facts are the facts. He murdered an innocent man of color while his little girl watched him bleed out and die.

Bishops’ African-American, lesbian partner, Officer Wilkins (Sharon Leal) isn’t a newbie and questions Bishop’s motives and state of mind as does another African-American officer (cameo by comic, Wayne Brady) adding that — “You get a prize for every brother you kill?”

The victim’s wife, a hard-working nurse (Edwina Findley Dickerson) buckles under the pressure and the injustice of it all, while her strong father, (Charles Robinson) stares Bishop down. 

But the meat of the story is Bishop’s semi-sober attempts to track down the people responsible for the prank who he considers the guilty party.  

The movie has high ambitions but a very weak story with performances that do nothing to help shape this film. The murdering of innocent people of color sadly isn’t new. Race and racism are under these murders and it feels like the first time director, Michael Nell had his heart in the right place but not the chops to deliver a film that honors the complicated elements that a story, like this, needed. 

The biggest example of Nell’s flaw in storytelling is that he’s not interested in the African-American victim or his family. Instead, we get to look into the dull, boring, uninspired life of the guilty cop with no revelations at all. 

I wish I could recommend watching “Blindfire” but at 1:23 minutes there are a billion and one better ways to fill your time. 

MPA Rating: unrated, violence, alcohol abuse, profanity

Scripted and directed by Michael Nell. A Kandoo release. 2020 Remi Award Winner - Best Crime Drama

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