About THE FILM
While not as publicized as cases of police brutality and police shootings in cities like New York, Oakland, Ferguson, and Baltimore, the 2014 killing of Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee is as shocking and tragic as any. In broad daylight in the middle of downtown, an officer responding to a complaint from a Starbucks employee approached Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed black man coping with paranoid schizophrenia resting in a public park. Minutes later, the officer shot Dontre 14 times.
The absolutely riveting and often angering documentary The Blood Is at the Doorstep digs deep into this case and its aftermath, following Dontre’s family and surrounding community for three years. We get incredible access to Dontre’s mourning mother Maria and determined older brother Nate, both of whom become committed activists in the wake of Dontre’s killing. We also spend time with Milwaukee Police chief Ed Flynn, examining his response to Dontre’s case and the still-unfolding legacy of that response.
Director Erik Ljung has meticulously crafted a piece of essential viewing, one that has much to contribute to our understanding of the ongoing epidemic of police violence. We get to know the victim, and watch his family’s transformation into activists. We see the complex layers of engagement when a mourning family’s desires diverge from those of fellow activists, and feel their frustration and anger with institutional responses. Importantly, we also see the often-ugly role police unions and “blue lives matter” rallies can play in preserving an oppressive status quo. The setting may be Milwaukee, but it could just as well be anywhere—and it’s a film every concerned citizen here should see. (Eric Allen Hatch, Maryland Film Festival)
News & Updates
Erik Ljung - Director / Producer / DP
Erik Ljung is a freelance Producer and Director of Photography currently based in the midwest. He has produced content and short documentaries for the New York Times, VICE News, Al Jazeera, PBS and the Wall Street Journal. In 2016 he won a midwest Emmy for his work on public television's Wisconsin Foodie. His cinematography can be seen on CNN’s The 414’s, which premiered at Sundance, and Almost Sunrise slated to air on POV in 2017. He is a former Nohl Fellow, and a two-time Brico Forward Fund recipient for his documentary work.
Michael T. Vollmann - Editor
Michael T. Vollmann’s editing credits include HBO, ESPN 30 for 30, CBS. He most recently directed the documentary “The 414s” (CNN Films) which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Michael D.P.’d the feature doc “The Jeffrey Dahmer Files” (IFC) (2012 SXSW) which became a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
Daniel T. Peters - AP / Cinematographer
Dan Peters is a Milwaukee based filmmaker. His work has been featured by The New York Times, PBS and The Intercept. Dan became an adventure addict while serving six years as a bomb disposal technician in the US Air Force which led round-the-world travels by motorbike, foot and horse. During these travels Dan picked up a camera and passion for storytelling