Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett pursues cold-blooded killers, escaped bank robbers, illegal video poker and stolen ceramic bunnies.



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Ronald E. Hewett ...


Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett oversees the rural Southern community of Brunswick County, North Carolina. "Sheriff" follows Hewett's pursuit of cold-blooded killers, escaped bank robbers, illegal video poker and stolen ceramic bunnies. "Sheriff" is a feature-length documentary film utilizing only natural pictures and sounds in the cinema verite tradition of Frederick Wiseman. Written by Anon

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Release Date:

13 March 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Not necessarily arresting...
22 November 2010 | by (Palo Alto, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Heard about Krauss by way of Ken Vandermark, who was the subject of the second film in this vocational documentary series.

As for the sheriff, seeing PR as such a vital part of his job while not entirely surprising, was still a bit shocking as to the extent of it. I was sort of hoping that this film would be more the nuts and bolts of the job, and well maybe PR is just that.

Of course the fact that the film has to come with its own camera crew may have resonated some with the sheriff. And while he's charismatic enough and both savvy yet raw enough for this to sort of work, it titled towards a scripted/prepared vibe at times, even though it was not.

I will say there's at least one deleted scene that I was surprised did not make it into the film, the one that includes a helicopter being shot out of the sky (sorry action fans, I should say a recount of that happening) but in addition I think it was part of the most difficult day of being a sheriff. There are other interesting angles in the film as well, the big rig full of stolen ceramics and molds. We don't get a follow up, sadly. The pot busts, I actually voted against legalization, but if the economy were buckling more I wonder if I'd still feel the same way. I certainly am against video betting, and so there's a scene there that just sort of underscores the levels of indirection in keeping the biggest criminals far enough from from the clichéd long arm of the law, and the big eye of its favorite partner, broadcast TV.

If this were made 10 years in the future, would there be more footage from vloggers, and how important they are in the making of a sheriff, 1-2-3? Probably the most interesting angle to me was the merging of hunting and being a policeman. Tangentially touched on by the sheriff as he takes his daughter out looking for turkeys. Non-human ones.

The film was okay, it made me think that I want to dig up those old TV shows, First Person by Errol Morris. As I recall, that was focused, with multiple lenses, on people who loved their often obscure jobs. Another film to maybe watch in conjunction with this, "Man Bites Dog" (I think that was the name of the vying camera crews following cops and perps around).

Anyways, this sure was better than watching an episode of Cops. And I hope this guy ends up being as up-standing for the long haul as the image we are given (and that image is not entirely a saccharine suck-up by all means).

Personally, I may not believe in a world split into good and evil, but if someone does believe and is acting as force of good, I will usually quietly root for them. Hopefully the policeman doesn't lapse into a pure politician, which thus becomes all too frequently impure if not evil.

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