”When Claude Got Shot” with Brad Lichtenstein


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When Claude Motley got shot… everything changed. Not just for Claude, whose jaw was shattered by a bullet fired through his car window, but for Nathan, the 15-year-old youth who pulled the trigger and for Victoria, the woman who shot Nathan when he tried to rob her, too. These tragic events in Milwaukee in 2014 unleashed a chain reaction of trauma and devastation that continues to wreak havoc on the lives of everyone involved. Brad Lichtenstein’s masterfully crafted, emotionally powerful and profoundly troubling Emmy®-nominated documentary “When Claude Got Shot” explores micro as well as macro perspectives on how gun violence is impacting countless lives in America today.

Joining Ken for his second Top Docs appearance, Brad (“American Reckoning,” “Ghosts of Attica”) shares the gut-wrenching experience of watching his close friend Claude go through this terrible ordeal and the conversations that led to the difficult decision to make the film. How does Claude’s conflicted relationship with the city of Milwaukee play a central role in the film? What happens when Claude and his wife, determined to see that justice is done, find themselves enmeshed in a criminal justice system ill-equipped to serve the needs of communities of color? And how did Brad earn the trust of Victoria, Nathan, and Nathan’s mother while they were going through one of the darkest periods of their lives? As Brad describes Claude’s painful journey and his path toward forgiveness, it becomes clear that when Claude got shot, everything changed… but not all hope was lost.

“When Claude Got Shot”, which is nominated for the 2022 Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, can be watched on PBS.org by those with access to the PBS Passport program.

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Music for the Movies: Toru Takemitsu

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The Presenting Sponsor of "Top Docs" is Netflix. Listen to our recent conversations with these Emmy®-nominated directors whose documentaries are currently on Netflix:

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