In this clip for the film Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland—an HBO documentary about the ambiguous, unsettling details surrounding Bland’s death—family members recall all the doubts they had in the days and months after she died.
Bland, 28 years old, was found dead in her jail cell on July 13, 2015, after being arrested for a traffic violation in Waller County, Texas; her death, which was ruled a suicide, has been surrounded with suspicion, uncertainty, and, ultimately, claims of police brutality. Family members who were interviewed, in the clip, recalled police walking them through footage of Bland’s jail cell. “We were looking, trying to see where Sandy was. I didn’t see her ever,” says the family’s attorney Cannon Lambert.
According to HBO, which describes the film as “part legal thriller, part parable about race in America”:
Approximately 30 “Sandy Speaks” video blogs, which Sandra created herself, allowed the filmmakers to get to know Sandra Bland in a deeply personal way. Via these videos, Sandy herself emerges as a central voice in SAY HER NAME — an empowered, enlightened woman of color whose sharp, humorous, charismatic remarks address subjects from educating kids about black history to police brutality to the importance of natural hair.
Say Her Name will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25 and on HBO later this year. Directors Kate Davis and David Heilbroner have been following Bland’s case for the past two years, working alongside the family’s legal team, which reached a $1.9 million wrongful death settlement in 2016.