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Juliet Rose

We Don’t Matter

A young film student captures police brutality on camera, by author Juliet Rose

Seattle film student, Aiden, dreams of making it big as a film maker in California, but he is burdened with guilt over his brothers’ tragic suicide several years earlier. One day, while filming skateboarders at the local park, Aiden meets Zeke, a construction worker from Utah. Aiden feels an instant connection to Zeke, but he is unsure of his feelings and his own sexuality. As Aiden and Zeke’s relationship slowly develops, trouble erupts between the police and the residents of a homeless encampment. Aiden captures footage of police brutality and the murder of a defenceless autistic, homeless man, Enrique. Police officers notice Aiden is filming the incident, and he is chased through the streets and captured. He discards his camera in an alleyway, which is later picked up by a local resident. Aiden is wrongfully arrested by the police, beaten, and questioned. Enrique later dies from his injuries in hospital, but Aiden manages to recover his camera, and working with a local reporter, publishes the footage of Enrique’s murder.

In fear of his life, from the police and radical police supporters, Aiden and Zeke travel across the country to the west coast and the safety of Aiden’s old friends, Sam and Smitty. With further civil protests, and reports of more police brutality, the couple are forced back to Seattle, to film and document the protests. The couple decide to turn their experiences of racism, discrimination, homophobia, and radical religious fanaticism, into something positive, and plan to travel the county and film people’s stories of oppression, injustice, and police brutality. But before they can move forward in their lives together, they must first address their own trauma.

We Don’t Matter by author Juliet Rose is a powerful novel, which deals with issues of racism, discrimination, homophobia, radical religious fanaticism, and police brutality. Juliet Rose writes about these issues, sensitively and with compassion, and develops understanding and empathy for the main characters Aiden and Zeke, and the issues they face. Juliet Rose shows that we all certainly ‘Do Matter’.

With some new characters, and some familiar characters from Juliet’s novel, ‘Do Over’, this book is a nice accompaniment to ‘Do Over’, but can also be read independently as a standalone novel.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: A powerful novel, which deals with issues of racism, discrimination, homophobia, radical religious fanaticism, and police brutality, sensitively and with compassion.

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