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Charles BurnettA Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge$
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James Naremore

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285521

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285521.001.0001

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The Glass Shield (1994)

The Glass Shield (1994)

(p.92) Six The Glass Shield (1994)
Charles Burnett

James Naremore

University of California Press

This chapter discusses Burnett’s only film about police and crime in Los Angeles. Loosely based on actual cases, the film centers on an idealistic young man who becomes the first black officer in a racist sheriff’s department. A black prisoner has recently been killed there, and another black prisoner is being framed for murder. Mistakenly trying to fit into the department, the young man commits perjury during the murder trial. Realizing his error, he joins a female officer in secretly investigating the department’s crimes. The lives of the two are endangered, and the young man eventually loses his career.

Keywords:   Ron Settles case, policing in Los Angeles, corruption of justice system, murder, expressionist color photography

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