Three years following her tragic and mysterious death, filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner are working to ensure the discussion that Sandra Bland started continues on.
Later this year, HBO will release a documentary titled ‘Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland.’ In 2015, Sandra, a politically active 28-year-old black woman from Chicago was arrested for a traffic violation in a small Texas town. Three days later, Sandra was found hanging in her jail cell. Although her death was ruled a suicide, it sparked a national outrage with allegations of racially-motivated police murder and left us all wondering what really happened to Sandra Bland.
Sandra would often upload inspirational video blogs titled “Sandy Speaks,” where she would educate her audience on everything from black history to police brutality to the importance of natural hair. Kate Davis and David Heilbroner will use these videos to allow Sandra to commentate her own documentary. The footage left behind by Sandra provided insight to the filmmakers on exactly who she was and what she stood for.
“Sandy’s message was: We need to listen to one another,” said Heilbroner. “So we felt we couldn’t make the film without listening to their point of view. I don’t agree with everything they say, but that’s not the point.”
He noted his background as a prosecutor in Manhattan helped get interviews with the Waller County authorities.
Sandra Bland’s mother Geneva Reed-Veal hopes sharing her daughter’s story will spark the change this country needs. “By continuing to show her story and tell her story, somewhere, somehow it’s going to change,” she said.
‘Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland’ is set to premiere on HBO in December.