The true crime documentary, "Hold Your Fire," will be available in theaters and on VOD starting May 20th, 2022, and it's a compelling, worthwhile film.
Today, we are all familiar with hostage negotiations, having seen them umpteen times over and over again in television shows and movies. But some may not realize that having a "negotiator" was a fairly recent advancement.
In "Hold Your Fire," we are told the true story of a hostage situation and stand-off that occurred in New York City, back in 1973. Shu'aib Raheem and a small group of fellow black men had tried robbing a sporting store to steal some guns, when they were surrounded on all sides by NYPD officers. There was a gunfight that left one officer dead and one of the robbers wounded. It was and still is the longest hostage siege in NYPD history, and it was also the first to use a new philosophy in approaching such situations...a policy that began with NYPD psychologist Harvey Schlossberg on this very event in 1973 that has become adopted as standard practice across the USA ever since.
The most fascinating element of the film is in how the story unfolds, and how it is seen from both sides of the conflict. Raheem appears in the film, so we know he got out alive, and we also hear from several of the officers that were involved in the siege. Years of resentment, corruption and distrust factored into the mentalities of all of the people that were there in 1973...feelings that still are prevalent not to mention relevant, even today, 50 years later.
"Hold Your Fire" reminds us that reform is possible, but that it too often comes well-after blood has already been spilled. It's an interesting story in and of itself, that becomes urgent when you consider that it hits on topics that still exist in modern times.
Run Time: 1 hour 33 minutes.
Directed by Stefan Forbes ("Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story," "One More Dead Fish").
"Hold Your Fire" is in select theaters on Friday, May 20th, 2022.
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