Everyday Activist - Above the Law | No Visible Trauma (CUFF.Docs 2020)

Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 05:00 PM

Above the Law | No Visible Trauma (CUFF.Docs 2020)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

I’m still buried in school projects, but after finding out Constable Chris Harris filed an injunction to stop No Visible Trauma, the feature length version of Above the Law from screening, I had to vent my frustration. The judge denied him, but police entitlement knows no boundaries. Harris wants $150,000 for defamation, even though if he would not have said anything, no one would have known he was in the video. The filmmakers offered to settle with changing the subtitle and blurring his face, which of course he rejected. Thanks to Harris, No Visible Trauma just received some great press in the form of TWO CBC articles (linked above), as the CUFF.Docs online screenings for November 25 through December 1 arrive. I hope more Calgarians will purchase a ticket.

Above the Law, available on CBC Gem, is disturbing enough on its own. After seeing some additional footage through the CBC article, Calgary police officers need to face consequences for their actions. ASIRT (Alberta Serious Independent Response Team) is hardly independent. It is the police, policing the police, which works as well as it sounds. Only can Calgary police get “suspension with pay” for the violent assault of a young, handcuffed woman that he “didn’t mean to throw face first.” Then Alex Dunn returns to work; instead of going to jail like a regular citizen. 

The events in the Above the Law focus on a few serious cases. Two of them are linked to Trevor Lindsay. Godfred Addai Nyamekye survived an assault by Lindsay in 2013. In 2015, Lindsay slammed Daniel Haworth on the ground while handcuffed. Eight months later Daniel Haworth died of a drug overdose after suffering serious brain trauma from the incident. Having personal experience with brain injury, I can’t imagine what those last months were like for him. Years later Lindsay is convicted, but still awaits sentencing. At least he’s suspended without pay as a convicted felon.

With the city budget being debated, the Calgary police can save a lot of money by not paying suspended officers who beat up civilians or create another revenue stream by fining them. ASIRT is not a volunteer run organization, so dropping the facade and scrapping it altogether might also save some cash. I am glad Serpa Francoeur and Robinder Uppal made both versions of the film, though I’m not sure I’m strong enough to watch the extended cut, No Visible Trauma. For those that are interested, tickets are available for online streaming at the Calgary Underground Film Festival website, as part of the 8th CUFF.Docs 2020 film festival. We can make our city better when we stand together against injustice. 

Calgary Showtimes: Above the Law > | No Visible Trauma >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.