Metro-East News

‘Give Us This Day’ movie highlights a year in East St. Louis

An award-winning documentary featuring a year in East St. Louis will premiere on DirectTV on Nov. 8. “Give Us This Day” has already been seen at the Tribeca and Woodstock film festivals an won at the Los Angeles Film Awards.

Director Michael Zimbalist said crews filmed about 75 days during 2017, which was more than originally expected, and focused on three residents and three police officers...

“We really stretched what we intended to do,” he said. Filmmakers also went to Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles before deciding the documentary should focus only on East St. Louis.

“We felt the access there was the greatest, and the subjects the most dimensional,” Zimbalist said.

The city has the highest homicide rate per 1,000 residents in the United States, the movie says. Worldwide, the rate is second only to El Salvador.

“Give Us This Day” shows the first death at about 5 minutes in, a body floating face down in the Mississippi River.

“This city just wicked as (explective). It’s so wicked that it made me wicked,” said James Samuel, 24, who spoke openly of selling “a little weed” because there were no jobs available for him.