The trailer for South Bureau Homicide begins with a voiceover stating: “Seventy-seventh is only 12 square miles. It has over 400 churches. But, historically, it has the highest homicide rate in the entire city.”
The new documentary from Rough Riders Studios delves into the notoriously crime-riddled neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles. South Bureau Homicide is a yearlong look into the unique, often tumultuous relationship between the residents of South Central and the LAPD and the homicide detectives who are hoping to forge a more cooperative and compassionate bond between the neighborhood and law enforcement.
“This is a community under siege with drugs and gangs and murder, and we have the worst police force trying to suppress it by any means necessary,” says a local woman over the infamous footage of South Central resident Rodney King being beaten by the local police force in 1991.
South Bureau Homicide, which will make its market debut at the Toronto Film Festival with special screenings, is helmed by first-time directors Mark Earl Burman and Mike Cooley, who also produced the film. Retired Los Angeles homicide detective Sal LaBarbera executive produced the doc, which was being shot while he was working on his last case.
The filmmakers focused on creating an unbiased look at the violence that plagues the South Central community and the work of the detectives and local activists who hope to eradicate the enduring brutality. Surmised Cooley, “These people and the work they do speak for themselves.”
“The glimpse the film provides into what’s happening in South Los Angeles underscores the mission of relationship-building LAPD has pursued since the riots of the 1990s,” said Burman.
Watch the teaser trailer, debuting exclusively here at The Hollywood Reporter, above.