Interview with ‘City So Real’ director Steve James and Amara Enyia – Contenders TV – Deadline

The city of Chicago has no shortage of challenges – among them an alarming murder rate, long-standing racial divisions and a difficult relationship between police and minorities. That hasn’t stopped a record number of candidates running for mayor in 2019, including, for a time, incumbent Rahm Emanuel.

The National Geographic Documentary Series City so real, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Steve James, explores this pivotal race, which arose in the wake of black teenager Laquan McDonald’s police shooting in 2014. Facing intense criticism over his handling of the case McDonald’s, Emanuel suddenly gave up on seeking a third term, and more than 20 contenders competed to succeed him.

Contenders Television: documentary + unscripted: live broadcast, schedule, lineup

“As we followed the election of the mayor and the candidates, like Amara [Enyia]James said at Deadline: Documentary + Unscripted’s Contenders Television event. “We were also just trying to get our finger on the pulse of the townspeople.”

People like Tracy, an African American woman who drove Lyft to pay the bills. She was a supporter of Enya’s candidacy.

“I really see a lot of myself reflected in her and what my campaign represented was really people like her,” Enyia said during the virtual panel. “It was always about amplifying the experiences, voices, vision and hope of ordinary Chicagoans like Tracy.”

Police reform has become a major issue in the race for mayor. This was before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned the idea of ​​“defunding police” into a national debate.

“Chicago is a unique city. There’s no other place like this, absolutely, and that’s part of the charm and beauty of telling this story, but at the same time, it’s also very similar to cities all over the States- United who are grappling with these questions of what we do. the police? “James said.” What do we do with the relationship between the police and the communities of color? Who gets the development [money], who does not get development? So all of these things are happening in Chicago. … I just think Chicago has always had a lot to say to the rest of the country, about the world we live in.

Check back on Monday for the panel video.

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