Ernie & Joe



Somerville Theatre - Screen 5 Sat, Apr 27, 2019 1:30 PM
Film Info
Category:Documentary Feature
Premiere Status:New England Premiere
Web Site:
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Jenifer McShane
Additional Info


Expected to be in attendance: Director Jenifer McShane, Subject Ernie Stevens and Subject Joe Smarro

ERNIE & JOE is a 360-degree look at what's at stake when the mentally ill and law enforcement collide. Part buddy film, part social commentary, and all vérité, ERNIE & JOE takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together the protagonists' experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis. The two are officers in the San Antonio Police Department's 10-person Mental Health Unit, founded to improve police response to precarious mental-health situations in light of the fact that one in four people killed by police in the US is mentally ill. The unit's primary job is to help people in crisis without force and get them into treatment, rather than jail—whether they are harming themselves, threatening suicide, experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, or members of the city's mentally ill homeless population. Ernie and Joe wear polo shirts and slacks and conceal their weapons. They emphasize de-escalation, rapport-building, and empathy.