Justin Stager and Dana Murphy, white, young, and naive, move to
Brooklyn to make a documentary about inner city life. The film takes a
media-immersion approach: Dana follows inner city youths, Justin films
NYPD officers on patrol, and John Healy, a hired cinematographer,
documents the filmmakers.
The focus of Dana’s story is Thomas Coventry, a 15-year-old black
youth trying to navigate his way through his strained family and
social life. Thomas is poised to move up from the hardships of ghetto
life, but his volatile friend, Nate, who is hell bent on stealing the
spotlight, is keeping Thomas down.
Surrounded by violence and drugs, nothing comes easy to Thomas in the
dangerous environment he calls home. On the flipside, Justin documents
the everyday lives of NYPD officers Dan Masterson and his partner Alex
Mora. Masterson is a seemingly good cop who puts his life on the line
However, it slowly becomes evident that views towards certain races
get in the way of his duties. After performing a heroic act, Masterson
granted some time off. He uses this time to uncover a plot, the
origins of which, unmask the motives behind Masterson’s racist
As the filming progresses, violence and emotions get into the way of
Justin and Dana’s objectivity. As the filmmakers grow apart their
stories merge together, forcing them to become active participants in
the underground world they hoped to observe through the lens. What was
once considered an ambitious idea soon spirals out of control, with
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