|The poster for “Scope of Practice”|
Criminals often get what they are due: punishment by the penal system and condemnation by their community. However, as real life events can tell us, there are still many criminals who do not get what they deserve. For example, in 1992, Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered and the person responsible, her husband OJ Simpson, was let off by the courts. Why is this? Why do these horrible people get away with horrible things? The answer in most of the cases is favoritism. In OJ Simpson’s case, he was a famous football player with fantastic lawyers. Other crimes by people of privilege throughout the country and the world, both past and present, may come to mind at this moment.
Enter onto the scene the film “Scope of Practice”, produced by BeWILderedMedia Productions, and directed and written by Brandyn T. Williams. In this film, a rookie EMT named Derek Reynolds (Chris Barbis), is called to the scene when Emma Phillips (Arlynn Knauff) apparently falls down the stairs at the home where she lives with her husband, Buffalo football player Donnie Phillips (Matt Fleck). Derek notices a footprint on Emma’s back, and suspects spousal abuse. He reports the fact, and waits for a result. I won’t try to ruin the film for you, but I can summarize the rest by mentioning that it is about the lengths to which Derek will go to see Donnie held responsible for his crimes.
For you see, Donnie Phillips holds a great deal of favoritism within the local community. He is a celebrity. Not just that, but he is a football player. To digress on this for a moment, America has what I believe is an unhealthy fixation with every little minute detail of American football. It is a gladiatorial sport, where we see people beat each other up on a field, and we encourage bad behavior from many of the players, because we believe that it shows that they are more of a man. These are unhealthy values to have. A real man would not beat the person he says he loves. A real man would admit to wrongdoings for which he is responsible. However, just like OJ Simpson, Donnie Phillips’ prestige in the community tends to keep him out of trouble.
Unfortunately, Derek Reynolds realizes that overcoming the favoritism held by Donnie Phillips will probably risk him his job and his safety. Are those risks worth the effort to ensure Emma’s safety? That is the key question that “Scope of Practice” addresses. At the end of the day, the film teaches us that favoritism can be overcome, a good lesson for anyone and any community.
When it comes to rating this film, I choose four out of five stars. It is a very good film, but it doesn’t call to me the way a five-star film like “A Grim Becoming” does.
This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!