Jeff Zimbalist & Michael Zimbalist


In their moving and impressive documentary GIVE US THIS DAY the directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist track a year in the lives of three police officers and three residents living in East St. Louis, the city with the highest homicide rate in the United States.


It is beautiful to see how the directors succeed in accompanying their protagonists without commenting or judging them which gives space to explore the humanity and the vulnerability in each of them. Seeing a mother telling her son that she wants him going to college as far away as possible to protect him from violence or seeing the Chief counting the increasing number of homicides through the year and the relatives and friends mourning deeply, leaves us with a helpless and painful feeling at times.


As much as it gives hope to see each of the protagonists - being police officer or resident - reflect and struggle and develop through the year. "Every day will be better, if people try", a young resident says in the end. You can't imagine how much I wish to give him this day.


Written by Beate Malkus, LAFA Lead Judge (August 2018).


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