NYMysteries  Aug. 25 – Sept. 1

Stephen Maing’s Crime & Punishment is a documentary about the NYPD treatment of minority officers. I learned about Crime & Punishment at a Mystery Writers of America Meeting. Officers Pedro Serrano, Ritchie Baez and Derek Waller presented evidence of discrimination and disrespect. In the documentary, twelve courageous minority cops demonstrate how they’re pressured to arrest other people of color to meet an illegal but still prevalent arrest quota.  The documentary was shown at Sundance. It’s on Hulu and at IFC in NYC. I went to an early screening at IFC, along with about five others. It’s an engrossing examination. Congratulations to the 12 officers who participated and to Director Stephen Maing.

Off to MOMA to see The Rest I Made Up. It’s Michelle Memran’s documentary about Maria Irene Fornes, the Cuban-American playwright who influenced generations of other writers. Memran and Fornes develop a loving, joyous film friendship as they travel to Cuba, Miami and Seattle. Fornes’s encroaching Altzheimers is poignant. The Rest I Made Up shows early footage of Maria Irene Fornes teaching and directing. I had hoped for more coverage on her work with Al Carmines at Judson Memorial Church. 

One of the Judson members is a boat fanatic and she entrances us with lively stories about NYC waterways. The latest was about the John J. Harvey fireboat.



NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned a murder case at the  prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

Graphic Lessons: What do a teacher, Ja nine-year-old and an eighteen year old have in common? Murder. Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old, the only witness to the stabbing and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.