SAY HER NAME: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SANDRA BLAND explores the mysterious death of a 28-year-old black woman found hanging in her Texas jail cell three days after she was arrested for a traffic violation. Authorities ruled her death a suicide, but dash cam fueled world-wide allegations that Sandra was murdered. Punctuated by Sandra’s own political video blogs, the filmmakers capture a two-year investigation which questions what really happened to Sandra Bland and how her story reflects racism and law enforcement.
In 2015, Sandra Bland, a politically active 28-year-old black woman from Chicago was arrested for a traffic violation in a small Texas town. Three days later, Sandra was found hanging from a noose in her jail cell. Dash cam footage revealing her violent arrest went viral, leading to national protests claiming that this was a case of racially-motivated murder. Sandra quickly became a poster child for police brutality, leaving millions to question ‘What really happened to Sandra Bland?’
The filmmakers worked closely with the family and their legal team starting ten days after Sandra’s death, and later Texas law enforcement, tracking the two-year battle between Sandra’s aggrieved family and a trio of small-town Texas authorities. Filled with disturbing, never-before-told revelations about the case, the film is also punctuated by Sandra’s own passionate video blogs which call out racism, and eerily foreshadow the questions her own death.
Part legal thriller, part parable about race in America, SAY HER NAME: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SANDRA BLAND takes viewers deep inside a story that came to polarize the nation.
Cinema Village, New York, NY, Opening November 9, 2018
Monica Theater, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA, Opening November 9, 2018
Music Box Theater, Chicago, IL, Opening November 9, 2018
Vogue Theater, San Francisco, CA , Opening November 9, 2018
Coolidge Corner Movie House, Brookline, Boston, MA, Opening November 16, 2018
About the Director
KATE DAVIS – Producer/Director
KATE DAVIS studied filmmaking at Harvard and has made acclaimed documentaries for twenty years. An AMPAS member, her film SOUTHERN COMFORT won dozens of awards including The Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, The Berlin Film Fest Special Jury Award and First Prize at Hot Docs and Seattle Film Festival, and The Grierson Award in England.
Kate and her partner, David Heilbroner, were nominated for an Academy Award (2018) for their film, TRAFFIC STOP.
Davis and Heilbroner co-directed/co-produced THE CHESHIRE MURDERS, THE NEWBURGH STING (Peabody Award), directed JOCKEY (Emmy Award, Best Direction), STONEWALL UPRISING (Peabody Award) for American Experience, and SCOPES: THE BATTLE OVER AMERICA’S SOUL for the History Channel. They are currently completing a music film titled BORN INTO THE GIG, and for HBO, are releasing a documentary on the national case of Sandra Bland, titled SAY HER NAME: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SANDRA BLAND.
DAVID HEILBRONER – Writer/Producer/Director
David Heilbroner has worked in film and television for over 20 years. For A&E Television Networks, he produced UNTYING THE STRAIGHT JACKET, ANTI-GAY HATE CRIMES and THE DARK SIDE OF PAROLE, among others. He was Senior Producer on CRIME STORIES, a series for Court TV, as well as on AMERICAN BABYLON (2003) a feature Court TV documentary. A former prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, and Federal District Court law clerk, David wrote the critically acclaimed non-fiction books Rough Justice (Pantheon 1990) and Death Benefit (Crown/Harmony 1993).