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Sean Rigg death in custody film set to premiere

TRIBUTES: Flowers and messages are left in memory of Sean Rigg

A DOCUMENTARY film about the controversial death of Sean Rigg whilst in police custody is to have its premiere at the 2012 West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival in Birmingham next week.

Who Polices the Police? explores the controversial circumstances surrounding Rigg’s death in the custody area of Brixton Police Station in August 2008, and looks at the ensuing investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

An inquest found that police officers had used ‘unsuitable force’ while restraining Rigg, who had a 20-year history of mental illness.

Director Ken Fero, who lectures in media production at Coventry University, will present his 52-minute documentary film Who Polices the Police? on Wednesday, October 3 at 8.15pm in the Birmingham Library Theatre on Chamberlain Square.

The film will also have a showing in London’s Garden Court Chambers on Friday, October 5 at 6pm. Both screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with contributions from both Fero and the family of Sean Rigg.

Fero previously won international acclaim for his 2001 documentary film Injustice, which investigates the period from 1969 to 1999 when, it claims, more than 1,000 people died in police custody in England.

“It’s entirely appropriate that this new documentary should be having its premiere at a film festival dedicated to cinema which explores current and contemporary human rights issues from around the world,” said Fero.

“We filmed the documentary over four years, combining interviews with an experimental poetic approach.”

He continued: It’s a highly critical piece targeting the police self-investigation and elements of the state, as well as popular media. The film moves from highly-emotional vérité-style cinematography to comments by Chairman Mao and George Orwell. It also contains some disturbing CCTV footage of Sean Rigg’s death.”

The West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival is taking place between Tuesday, September 18 and Thursday, October 18.

It is the second time that the region has hosted the festival, whose aim is to screen a range of films that investigate the notion of human rights in the twenty-first century – as measured against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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