The Seven Five

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 12.57.38 PMWith all the attention on police misconduct recently, “The Seven Five” is a timely film. But it explores a very different dark back alley than the recent attention to police shootings and ingrained racism. This film shows what happens when an outright psychopath puts on the blue uniform.

Told in interviews, historic photos, and stock footage, “The Seven Five” follows the misdeeds of one Michael Dowd, a detective in the crime-infested 75th Precinct, located in East New York, Brooklyn, during the heyday of the crack cocaine driven murder epidemic of the 1980s. Yet the poverty, drugs and squalor only provide a backdrop for the story of how Dowd went from petty larceny to major depravity. All the while, he flew under the radar of his fellow cops and what passed for “the system” in those days.

Starting as a look into the often impenetrable “blue wall of secrecy,” the film becomes an exploration of the bleak soul and lack of moral compass that led Dowd into every larger transgressions of the law and his sworn duty. The audience can’t turn away; it is a story as compelling as it is repulsive.

The film has been called the cops version of “Goodfellas,” which may be why Sony bought the remake rights and plans a fictionalized version.

Phil Neches

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