With the national conversation around police reform still resonating loudly around the country, Women in Blue shines a spotlight on the women within the Minneapolis Police Department working to reform it from the inside by fighting for gender equity. Filmed from 2017 to 2020, the documentary focuses on MPD’s first female police chief, Janée Harteau, and three of the women in her department as they each try to redefine what it means to protect and serve.
Women in Blue follows Harteau’s uphill battle to reform her department as the city of Minneapolis, long before an MPD officer killed George Floyd in May of 2020, grapples with a troubled history of police misconduct and racism. Her efforts involve getting rid of corrupt police officers, re-training the rest, diversifying the ranks, and, crucially: recruiting more women and promoting them into leadership at every level. The film also follows three of these women from different ranks, each committed to reimagining their profession.
Deirdre Fishel is an independent filmmaker of both documentaries and dramas. Her films have premiered in competition at Sundance and SXSW and been broadcast in 35 countries worldwide. Her documentary Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65 was also expanded into a book co-written with producer Diana Holtzberg. Recent projects include a web documentary Suicide On Campus, produced in conjunction with The New York Times Magazine, and a transmedia project, The Boy Game. Deirdre was a directing fellow at the American Film Institute and has an MFA from Hunter College. She is an Associate Professor of Media & Communication Arts at The City College of New York.