Black Cop: A Scathing Satire

Ronnie Rowe Jr. in Black Cop. Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films/Mike Tompkins.

In his feature directorial debut, Black Cop, writer/director Cory Bowles uses unapologetic satire to explore the racial tensions within the police force and communities.

As a result of Trailer Park Boys, Bowles has quite the social media following and deals with a number of trolls.  As such, this is a film that is best viewed through the right lens.  Otherwise, it’s going to come off as nothing but absurd.

For one cop, who is known simply as Black Cop (Ronnie Rowe Jr.), he gets pushed over the edge.  This is because he lives and works in a community where people simply don’t trust him.  As the film gets underway, there’s a looming grand jury verdict in a case dealing with what else–an unarmed person who was killed by police.  If you don’t think everything going on would give him some sort of internal conflict, you’re crazy!  What manages to do him in are his off-duty co-workers.

He decides to target the white community in the same way that people of color are targeted.  It’s a case of all-out rage as he abuses, assaults, harasses, and downright terrorizes the white community.  The badge can be a powerful thing.  But how much power is too much power?  Any cop doing what he does would likely lose their badge or get hit with a suspension.

What Bowles is able to do with Black Cop is ask the hard questions by taking the current racial tensions that exist between law enforcement and people of color and respond to it as only a scathing satire would.  Rather than the typical profiling of people of color, it’s reversed.  A cop, who is a person of color, profiles the white members within the community.  Rowe Jr. plays this character with such ease.

One of the benefits of the film from a cinematography perspective is that the film was also shot via body camera.  This decision only manages to give the film an authentic feeling in viewing.  What better way to watch a film about a police officer than by way of a body camera?

Unlike Get Out, Black Cop isn’t getting a theatrical release.  Instead, it’s getting the Digital/VOD treatment.  It gives viewers a chance to watch it quicker than a theatrical release.  Indies expand into markets at a slower rate with some markets not getting the opportunity to see it.

Black Cop is the scathing satire we need right now.

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER:  Cory Bowles
CAST:  Ronnie Rowe, Jr.

Following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Samuel Goldwyn Films released Black Cop on Digital/VOD platforms on May 1, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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