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When We Prey On Them : Film Review

When We Prey On Them
Anubhav Chakraborty

March 23, 2022 4 min read

Ronald Dillard Jr.’s movie delivers a powerful message 

Movie: When We Prey On Them

Director: Ronald Dillard Jr. , Shirod Greene 


Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel


In this world hope and hatred dwell together. Unfortunately, in today’s world, people are mostly driven by the negative emotions that blur our vision, attack our morality and enable us to insult others. We jump into conclusions even before we fathom the situation. People, blinded by rage, anger and frustration, attack one another and make a hell out of everything. Racism is such a malice of today’s world. We don’t know when or why exactly Racism started spewing its poison, but it has surely been a long time. Now, even after countless protests and movements it doesn’t seem to go away! In fact the illogical hatred is increasing each passing day, endangering the lives of people who identify themselves as people of “colour”. The atrocities committed against them weaken their core, make them feel cornered and humiliated. Their sense of belonging to a land is disrupted. The racists, sadly, don’t envision things with profound thought, rather they hurt others for no apparent reason. 

The movie “When We Prey On Them” attempts to bring out the side of the oppressed. The torture a black person has to endure in the hands of the whites are subtly presented in the movie. 

The content of the movie reminds us of George Floyd who was brutally killed by a white police officer. Floyd, who was a 46 year old bouncer from Houston, lost his job when the pandemic hit. He was strangled to death after a convenience store employee called police on him suspecting counterfeit money. Theincident shook the core of the world. Every nook and corner of the world protested against the heinous crime that the white officer had committed. Later on, it was found out that the incident of white police officers suspecting a black man (even without a basis) and torturing him without maintaining the rules is somewhat common in the culture. This ill practice is something that writer producer Ronald Dillard Jr. tries to incorporate and highlight in his film. 

The thriller movie revolves around a police interrogation that doesn’t go as expected after a mysterious suspect turns himself in. He attempts to subvert the script on a sergeant and his officers during a night that will change their lives forever. The film delivers a fresh approach to the matter and tries to emphasize how a person, irrespective of their race, caste and creed, gets affected by the evils of racism. They also try to emphasize how one should noy judge the entire race for the nasty behavior of a few who are, strangely enough, very insignificant in number.

The film begins with a bang and as the story gradually develops, it opens up the layers to unveil the mystery. The camera work of the film is brilliant and the shots come out nicely. The colour scheme of the movie is very well balanced. The movie uses warm tones to show the scenes of M.P.S. and cool tones to show the scenes with the police officers, offering a brilliant symbolism of the duality. The editing is done well and the dialogues, especially, leave a mark on the viewers’ minds. The cast have done a great job, especially actor Aaron Stein who portrayed Officer Little.

The film is a beautiful attempt to express the grief and the trying situations a person of colour goes through, it also shows how humanity is still residing within people. The film successfully affirms that the world is still a bit better to live in and that creates an impact!

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