Policing in a time of Trump and a nation divided

Documentary at Galway Film Fleadh looks at the politics behind the election of sheriffs

Clarence Ivans and Chuck Jenkins.

Clarence Ivans and Chuck Jenkins.

THINK OF the word sheriff and you think of the hat and the badge; Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard; Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven; and Ed Tom Bell in No Country for Old Men.

Yet being an actual sheriff in the US is a serious business. As The New Yorker said: "The sheriff is far more than an administrator. He’s an aspirational figure and a moral touchstone." Many Americans view the sheriff as the protector of the US constitution at county level, but a sheriff's local ties mean they are also seen as being separate from the ‘long arm of the government’.

The Sheriff film 2

Clarence Ivans.

In Autumn 2018, Americans voted in the midterm elections. At the bottom of the ballot was the box to elect the county sheriff. The midterms were an opportunity for voters to respond to the first two years of the Trump presidency and it is against this backdrop that the documentary, The Sheriff, was filmed.

The Sheriff will be screened on www.galwayfilmfleadh.com on Friday July 10 at 3pm, followed by a Q&A with director Grace Sweeney.

The Sheriff film 1

Chuck Jenkins.

The film charts the election bids of Clarence Ivans in North Carolina, and Chuck Jenkins in Maryland, to become sheriff. At the same time, this film is also a look at Trump's America and a nation divided - as the candidate for sheriff runs under the banner of Democrat or Republican. This film reveals how wider political issues strike at the very core of the sheriffs’ election.

The film can be rented for €7.50. See https://online.galwayfilmfleadh.com/film/the-sheriff.


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