For all the speculation about a “surprise” in the 9500Liberty preview screening scheduled for tomorrow night at Casablanca, what I found most compelling was the clarity and precision with which it explained some complicated truths I already suspected, as well as a few I didn’t suspect. There are indeed some surprises. In fact, a few of them were bigger than I was expecting, but no, none of them included Corey Stewart at 7 Eleven with Greg Letiecq. The most striking thing about the film is that, taken as a whole, it depicts the Chairman in battle mode as only his colleagues know him, and as the average citizen has never seen him before.
Some of the scenes inside the BOCS chamber have the feeling of a showdown at high noon, with John Grisham style dramatic tension, only the suspense in this case is not dramatized; it’s real! I don’t want to give anything away. I really recommend you see it for yourself. If you do, I predict you will be on the edge of your seat, squirming with suspense, EVEN if you already know how the story turned out.
By getting perspectives from Board members, the Police Chief, the County Executive and others, the film illustrates the consensus view of recent PWC history, from a fascinating perspective inside the county government. Specifically, it explains what went down behind closed doors, so to speak, during the budgeting process, the long recesses and closed sessions, and how the risk of racial profiling lawsuits, and the high costs of avoiding them, led to the scaling back of the county’s illegal immigration policy.
I felt like Corey Stewart was treated fairly. At times I actually sympathized with the impossible situation he faced as the champion of this unfortunate “experiment” (yes, the word “experiment” comes up again but I won’t spoil it by saying who said it this time).
I know I am being vague, but I am determined not to give too much away. Let me just say THE BEST THING about the film is the inside view it provides us into the Supervisors’ approach to this controversial issue. There were several times when I was shocked at how honest people were being, and how comfortable they were just telling the truth, when we’d lived with so much confusion the past 2 months about what really went on.
There will inevitably be grumbling from the extreme right saying this is not their version of reality. No surprise there. But despite all the confusion, it’s a relief to know there is a consensus about what really happened. And, if you watch this film, it’s very possible you’ll understand it in great detail. If not, you will have a hard time discussing local politics with someone who has.
Casablanca 7:00 p.m.
7911 Centreville Rd