Last night (December 3) marked the debut of “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland” on HBO. The feature-length documentary follows Bland’s sister Shante Needham, mother Geneva Reed-Veal and other family members and legal representatives over the course of two years as they challenged Texas authorities’ official ruling of “self-inflicted asphyxiation” in the 28 year old’s 2015 death in a Waller County, Texas, jail.
“Say Her Name” uses Bland’s own words to illustrate who she was before former state trooper Brian Encinia violently detained her for not signaling a lane change. The documentary incorporates audio and video from close to 30 “Sandra Speaks” video blogs, which she published to address racism and structural inequality. Essence notes that the film also uncovers several previously unknown details about the case, including forged log sheets and the absence of Bland’s DNA or fingerprints on the noose that authorities say she used to commit suicide.
Watch a trailer for “Say Her Name” below; subscribers can stream the film in full via HBO.