Directed by Thomas Marchese with narration provided by The Shield alumnus Michael Chiklis, Fallen is a moving documentary that gives us some insight into police work and how they are impacted by their fallen service members. After all, they are human.
A police officer might be killed every 2-3 days in the United States and depending on the news story of their day, their deaths could go unnoticed and that’s a tragedy in its own right. What Fallen does is give us a look into eight officers who gave their lives to protect and serve. Their story gets told by the people who knew them best in the communities where they served.
At a time when there are many upset with the police over the treatment of minorities, these are people who wake up every day knowing their their job is to serve and protect. One of the statistics that the documentary started out with is that 90% of police work is boredom but it’s the remaining ten percent that is “sheer terror.” Could you imagine waking up for work daily and know that there’s the possibility that you might not come home alive at the end of the day? That’s what life is like for police officers and their families.
The film is unique in that its made not just by Hollywood veterans but also members working in law enforcement, including the director. It’s not a political film. We get an eye into their lives in ways that we rarely see in the media. These people working to protect us are human as well and a stark reminder that not everyone working in law enforcement is out there to hurt you. Is it a shame that so many minorities are targeted because of routine traffic stops and whatnot? You bet. Does this mean that all members of law enforcement are racist? No. Sometimes, they have a quota to fill with traffic stops and someone just happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The message that this film sends above all is that, yes, police are human, too.
What makes Thomas Marchese such a unique person to direct Fallen is that he spent the bulk of a 15-year career in law enforcement working as a Homicide Detective. Before that, he was sure he would be a filmmaker and studied it in school. How does an aspiring filmmaker end up in law enforcement? Who knows! Three years into production on Fallen, Marchese found himself responding to a report of domestic violence, where he was stabbed multiple times.
Gravitas Ventures will release Fallen in select theaters on September 8, 2017. In the Chicago area, the documentary will have a one week run at the AMC Loews Quarry 14.