‘Black and Blue’ explores the reality of a corrupt police force when lead, Alicia West, played by Naomie Harris, captures them killing a Black man while wearing her body cam. In an effort to seek justice for the crime she has just witnessed, she becomes the target of her own brothers in blue, who want to protect themselves at any cost.
Directed by Deon Taylor, this action thriller has many underlying themes, with one main lesson being focused on humanity and why doing what is right is always worth it in the end. The film also sheds a light on the – rightfully so – complex relationship between black and brown communities and police. Shot in New Orleans, we see how those deemed to protect and serve often underserve these communities in justice and overserve in abuse of power, which creates a wall of continued distrust between the two groups.
During the ‘Black and Blue’ private screening in Atlanta earlier this month, actor/singer Tyrese and actress Nafessa Williams shared that their characters aren’t that different from what they experienced growing up in areas like Watts (Tyrese) and Philly (Nafessa). Williams explained to us that “she is [her character] Missy,” which is why the film ignited a fire in her to want to be the change.
We caught up with Harris during the event, asking her about what it was like being the first Black woman to play the lead role in a movie as a police officer. “I describe her as the moral compass of the movie, she has such integrity and is willing to risk her life in order to do what she knows is right, to stand up against what is wrong and to stand up against corruption and the abuse of power for what is the right thing to do.”
“We should always have a heart, beyond what reaches our doorstep,” Tyrese adds. “Don’t tune out, don’t look the other way.”
Director Deon Taylor hopes that this film will create more conversations and cause people to actually get up and get active in their communities. “No matter what side you’re on, no matter who you think you are,” says Taylor, “the biggest thing that we’re supposed to be is human and to have integrity.”
Catch the riveting, thought-provoking, ‘Black and Blue’ in theaters everywhere now and head over to our IG- @aspireTV for a full clip of our night at the ATL premiere!