(San Francisco, CA, Thursday, April 18, 2019) – On the streets of Baltimore, shooting is rampant, the murder rate is approaching an all-time high and distrust of the police is at a fever pitch. With nerves frayed and neighborhoods in distress, dedicated community leaders, compassionate law enforcement officers and a progressive young city councilman try to stem the epidemic of violence. Filmed during the lead up to, and aftermath of, Freddie Gray’s death in police custody, Charm City is a powerful cinema vérité portrait of those surviving in, and fighting for, the vibrant city they call home.
Filmed over a violent three-year period when Baltimore’s nickname never seemed less apt, Charm City profiles a group of police, citizens, community leaders and government officials who, with grit, fury and compassion, are grappling with the consequences of violence and trying to reclaim their city’s future. Directed by Marilyn Ness, Charm City premieres on Independent Lens Monday, April 22, 2019 from 10:00 to 11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS and will also be available simultaneously for online streaming at pbs.org.
Charm City captures the realities of Baltimore by focusing on real-life cops, community organizers and politicians who are trying to save lives in the city that The Wire defined as urban decay. Filmed over three years, the documentary captures life in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods and reveal three sides of the same story: the law enforcement officers who patrol the streets, the residents trying to survive those streets and make them safe for others, and politicians working with both groups. Although the issue of gun violence continues to dominate news cycles, Charm City offers brief flashes of hope that remind us that positive change is possible.