Louis Theroux’s Law and Disorder In Philadelphia, Still Strikingly Relevant Today

Originally shot and produced for BBC News in 2008, Louis Theroux’s 1 hour documentary on street crime in Philadelphia is still relevant to life in poverty stricken neighborhoods in the City today.

One thing I very much appreciate about Theroux’s BBC story is that the individuals we initially are told, by the police, to view as crooks are often exposed to be instead sincere and thoughtful human beings with legitimate gripes about the way their neighborhoods are policed.

Theroux it seems makes a misstep by choosing as his guide into the criminal underbelly a series of police officers whom specialize in covering as their beat the most dangerous neighborhoods in the City. This decision proves to alienate the residents of the neighborhoods. The story shines however in the moments when Theroux leaves the safety of his police minders and enters into sincere conversations with members of the community about their lives and their neighborhoods.


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