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'Baltimore Rising': What they're saying about HBO documentary on post-Freddie Gray Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun

“Baltimore Rising,” the HBO documentary about Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, premiered Monday. Here’s a sampling of how people and critics reacted to the film, directed by Sonja Sohn of “The Wire.”

Many were moved by the documentary’s portrayal of Baltimore.

Others saw gaps in the documentary.

For some, it brought back emotional memories from the 2015 unrest.

Sohn’s work earned the praise of “The Wire” creator David Simon.

Activists like Makayla Gilliam-Price and Kwame Rose, featured in the documentary, weighed in online — as did those who know them.

Overall, critics had positive things to say about “Baltimore Rising.”

Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik said “of all the special reports and documentaries done on Baltimore since the uprising, this is the head of the class.”

Newsday’s Verne Gay praised the documentary’s message, saying “’Rising is optimistic, but it’s not delusional.’”

Hank Stuever at The Washington Post, however, found the film to be “fascinating yet noticeably scattered,” writing: “If community organizers and protesters have a hard time harnessing their anger and finding narrative satisfaction in despair, then how can anyone else? A movie about their frustration ought to be equally frustrating to watch — and this one is.”

IndieWire’s Steve Greene praised how Sohn highlighted the humanity of the people in the documentary, calling it a “vital portrait of activism, anger, and a city’s search for justice and healing.”

“Baltimore Rising” is available to stream on HBO.com and will re-air on HBO and HBO2 over the next few weeks. Click here for a full schedule.


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