From director Sonja Sohn (Baltimore Rising) tar of HBO’s The Wire, comes THE SLOW HUSTLE, an American tale of how the culture of corruption penetrates the system at every level, destroying lives, as ordinary citizens, hardworking local journalists, and a few rebellious public servants endeavor to pick up the pieces. When Baltimore police detective Sean Suiter is shot and killed on duty the day before he is scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury, a mystery unravels that raises questions about what story he was going to tell about his fellow officers. The infamously corrupt Gun Trace Task Force is the focus of an investigation that exposes members of an elite task force as a criminal gang and that proves to be one of the dirtiest police units in US history. THE SLOW HUSTLE follows Detective Suiter’s widow and children as they work to uncover clues and hold the Baltimore Police Department and City Hall accountable. Meanwhile dogged journalists strive to crack the case, including D. Watkins, author of We Speak for Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress, and Justin Fenton, author of We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption. At the vortex lies Detective Sean Suiter, with the conflicting theories of his death and the complexities of his life, creating a dizzying portrait of the human challenges of modern policing in the age of rising violent crime and police. Director Sonja Sohn joins us to talk about how the death of Detective Sean Suiter’s unsolved death has affected the lives of the Suiter family and the corrosive impact that the scandal has had on the Baltimore Police Department, and the standing of Baltimore’s political establishment.
Backstory – Directed by Sonja Sohn of Baltimore Rising and HBO’s The Wire, The Slow Hustle is a searing inside look at one of the country’s most corrupt police departments in Baltimore, MD, through the story of a respected, veteran police officer’s mysterious death and the efforts of local journalists, family members and activists to find answers. The film is a captivating and poignant commentary on the state of our criminal justice system and the lengths a community will go to uncover the truth. Coming after the heavily covered BLM protests last year ignited from the unfortunate murders of individuals like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Aubery, the documentary is a much-needed analysis of the rampant corruption present in local police departments and how that history has disproportionately affected marginalized communities. After Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter is killed in the line of duty, the tragedy soon becomes enmeshed in a widening corruption scandal that threatens to unravel the public’s already strained relationship with law enforcement. Directed by Sonja Sohn of Baltimore Rising and HBO’s The Wire, The Slow Hustle is a searing inside look at one of the country’s most corrupt police departments.
About the filmmaker – Director / Producer / Writer / Actor Sonja Sohn started as a slam poet. While performing her work on stage, she was spotted by producer Marc Levin who offered her a role in his film Slam. She also wrote lyrics and co-wrote the script for the film. Slam went on to win the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival. After debuting in Slam, Sohn appeared in minor roles in films such as Shaft and Bringing Out the Dead. She also starred in independent films Perfume, G and The Killing Zone. Through the five seasons of the HBO series The Wire, she held a starring role as Detective Kima Greggs. She struggled during the first season of The Wire and considered quitting as she had trouble recalling her lines. She has also guest-starred on many episodes of Cold Case as “Toni Halstead”. She won the supporting television actress award at the 2008 Asian Excellence Awards for her character on The Wire. Sohn made her directorial debut with the 2017 HBO documentary Baltimore Rising about the 2015 Baltimore protests and community organizing that arose in response to police violence.