The Blood Is at the Doorstep
Offering a painfully realistic glimpse inside a movement born out of tragedy, “The Blood Is at the Doorstep” provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most pressing social issues. A roofer by day, Nate Hamilton juggled community college and fatherhood in the evening, leading what he describes as “a pretty simple life.” That all changed in 2014, when his brother Dontre was shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee police officer. An unarmed black man, Dontre was living with paranoid schizophrenia, and his death raised a complex of problems involving the police’s actions: the rapid escalation of force, the use of racial profiling, and the failure to recognize mental-health issues. Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre’s death, this intimate vérité documentary follows Nate and his family as they struggle to find answers and to challenge a criminal-justice system stacked against them. Despite a multitude of setbacks, the Hamilton family inspires substantive reforms on a local level. But when another controversial police shooting in Milwaukee sets off several nights of violent unrest, the Hamiltons activate to maintain peace, as they anxiously wait to see if the reforms they fought so hard for will make a difference for the next family.