When I saw Colin Kaepernick was associated with Killing County, I thought I was going to get something self-righteous and slanted. As much as I want to agree with every point he makes, the man loves nothing more than the attention he gets for it.
Killing County was different. Someone was smart to let him executive produce but not do much else. His fingerprints aren’t all over this. Killing County is much less about activism and more about some trigger happy cops in Bakersfield, California.
You may already have an idea of where I’m slanting with this documentary. It passed the “better than expected” test. Would I still recommend it?
What was good about Killing County
The three parts flew by. Seriously. I don’t think I checked once if the episode was almost over. I can’t think of a better use of time than what they did with Killing County. It moves quickly, doesn’t slow down at any moment, and other than the first episode where it’s unclear what the main story is, everything was easy to follow.
Killing County raises the important issue of police overstepping their authority and shooting unarmed people. Multiple examples are provided with Bakersfield, California as the setting for where way too many of these shootings take place.
This isn’t a true crime documentary in the way many of my favorites are. This is more about a corrupt system and how the people who are supposed to protect us get a little too out of control.
Killing County wasn’t my favorite documentary I’ve seen but it was a pleasurable experience. It had a purpose. I finished it angry.
What would have made Killing County better
A little more structure would have made this a much better documentary. Instead of throwing a bunch of cases at us quickly, slowing things down just a tad would have helped it start off better. The documentary almost got too caught up in delivering too much early on. I appreciate a slow burn.
Killing County had a lot of ways where it could have expanded. Three episodes almost didn’t seem like enough. We don’t really get to know any of the victims. We also don’t get to see much from the other side. I won’t deduct points for the latter. I have a feeling the police would rather not get involved in any projects like this.
Is Killing County worth watching?
I’m going to kneel down and give a thumbs up for this one. I was actually surprised by how much I did end up enjoying it. The topic can get a little too social justice warrior for me at times. This documentary brilliantly presented their case and avoided getting too preachy or sappy.
There’s a problem in Bakersfield. Innocent people are getting shot by police. Something needs to be done to stop this. It’s that simple.
Overall Score: 7 out of 10
I have a feeling I’ll forget about Killing County in a week. Because so much was discussed, I hardly remember the main story of the documentary about the Ramirez family. In a way, Killing County is like one of those movies with no one easy to describe plot. It’s all over the place but focused on a singular message.
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