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Hot Docs 2021: “Philly D.A.”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mass incarceration is one of the largest problems in the US. Maybe it’s because of the privatized prisons. But the numbers are rising at an alarming rate, and Philadelphia is the city that holds the ignominious record for being the U.S. city with most incarcerations ever.

“Philly D.A.” is a powerful documentary film that follows the civil rights attorney Larry Krasner, who openly criticized Philadelphia’s policies and promised to end mass imprisonment. However, as soon as he wins the election for the District Attorney office, he beings his journey in reforming the system that is purely based on discrimination. As an activist, criminologist and defence attorney, Krasner brings a refreshingly new point of view and the most needed changes the city needed.

What is most appalling, as you watch the documentary, is the number of police officers that were deemed untrustworthy to even prosecute them. All that’s because of their willingness to lie so openly, it would be hard to crack them. There are many important elements brought in regard to the broken justice system and why it must be repaired. It is clear that Krasner, through this brilliant docuseries, shows that changes might be possible but he is willing to put more pressure to ensure it will serve the people of Philadelphia and not be against them. Krasner is trying to do it right. But as you know, it may need more than one person to make the difference. Will he be able to do it all by himself? Only time will tell. But as for the “Philly D.A”, it makes us hopeful that better days will come soon.

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