FLINT TOWN

North & South - - Review -

Net­flix: Doc­u­men­tary se­ries ( M) An eight-episode, rav­ish­ingly filmed voy­age through a crum­bling Amer­i­can mo­tor city now ranked among the most dan­ger­ous in the US, through the eyes of its un­der­staffed po­lice. “My first homi­cide was four days in,” 29-year-old of­fi­cer Brid­gette Balasko tells the cam­era, af­ter apol­o­gis­ing to a stitched-up rob­bery vic­tim 27 hours af­ter he called for help. Po­lice num­bers in Flint have been cut by two-thirds, the city ap­par­ently too broke to af­ford a fully func­tion­ing po­lice depart­ment. The se­ries opens as another body-blow – a poi­soned wa­ter sup­ply – lands on Flint, which has al­ready been eco­nom­i­cally dev­as­tated by the pullout of Gen­eral Mo­tors. It ends af­ter the toxic US pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of 2016. The film­ing is beau­ti­ful, sur­re­ally so at times. A teenage boy lies mur­dered in the snow. His mother’s an­guish and the ex­hausted voices of at­tend­ing of­fi­cers un­der­score the heavy price of Amer­ica’s civic poverty.

JENNY NI­CHOLLS

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