A chance comment on Facebook led me to a web series filmed in Plainfield. In the genre known on IMDb as "hood" movies, it included drug dealing, gun violence, murder, jail, poverty and general social dysfunction.
I had two reactions (well, three) after seeing this production. It depicted Plainfield as a dangerous place, with crime part and parcel of the residents' lives, a shooting in a downtown alley, and a cameo appearance by one of Park & Seventh's prime disrupters - in other words, just the image that people say outsiders wrongly pin on the city. As a Plainfielder since 1983, I was horrified.
Another reaction was to wonder how the series was filmed. Was it all freelance, without any city permissions or knowledge? I know nowadays practically anyone with a camera is their own auteur, but I remembered how "The Messenger," "Basket Case" and "Kinsey" all required approvals for use of city locales.
I will reserve my other reaction for a later date, but let's just say the series had an unexpected (to me) political coda.
Comments on YouTube showed the series had a lot of fans, and I guess overall it was no worse than some thriller filmed on the streets of New York City. It was just disconcerting to see someone "shot" just a few steps from a downtown bank I use, among other juxtapositions of the familiar with the unthinkable.
I know some will say it is not my place to say anything on this topic. It recalled to me a time when as a reporter I stopped at Clinton School on election day to get a comment on turnout, and a woman said, "What are you doing here?" There are divides and lines in the sand here. But I am a Plainfielder too, and this is just how I feel today.