"Gives the viewer plenty to digest and unpack... Engaging, and it is likely to make some people feel uncomfortable. This can be a good thing as it can help educate viewers who are grappling with the concepts of white privilege and racism... Younger students will benefit from viewing it under the conscientious care of an educator or guardian ready to facilitate the conversations that will follow. The subject of the film is multidisciplinary and could support curriculum in Black & African American studies, sociology, history, and criminal justice. This film is highly recommended for library collections largely for the important and timely conversation it delivers."
"Shocking...Strongest when it contextualizes Shakara's case within the larger movement to decrease police presence in academic institutions (which won some victories last year following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor)."
— The Hollywood Reporter
"An expansive, insightful and infuriating documentary about police brutality in the public education system"
— The Guardian
"Garrett Zevgetis' bracing, essential new documentary digs deeper into the ramifications of the showdown, with testimony from both Shakara and officer Ben Fields adding new details to the nature of the confrontation...should prove eye-opening for any parents of public school children wondering whether the security officers are really looking for them each day."
"Infuriating and saddening"
— The Boston Globe
"Tough yet necessary viewing on racist, violent policing practices in U.S. schools...shows how both laws and individuals enact violence on Black children and provides examples of resilience, perseverance, and resistance in the face of injustice."
— Common Sense of Media
"Captures the reverberating tension that follows those who were involved in the video...With consistent questioning and storytelling, On These Grounds captures both sides of a narrative while simultaneously holding harmful or untrue rhetoric accountable"
— The Berkeley Beacon
"My students were captivated by the material. You could hear a pin drop...Especially impactful with students of color who are also in special education...These students could see themselves through Shakara's story which was very validating. It would also be valuable for teacher training programs so we can examine all the choices we make in the classroom, and for teachers to have a support system to address the full range of student needs."
— Hasmig Minassian, Ethnic Studies & Social Living Teacher, Berkeley High School
"Timely and important watch, one which should be taken with an open mind"
— Visually Stunning Movie Podcast
"One of the most well-rounded and vital documentaries in recent years"
— College Movie Review
"Shows that even in a post-Trump era, America still has a long way to go to reverse the damage caused by institutional racism."
— Battle Royale with Cheese
"A disarming look at how deeply engrained racial inequality is to the application of laws"
— The Moveable Fest
"Engrossing documentary from Garrett Zevgetis examines the entire case in granular detail utilizing interviews with all the key players."
— Peter Sobczynski, Efilm Critic
"An intriguing look at how opinions can form within cultural bubbles which completely defy a rational analysis of widely available evidence."
— Eye for Film
"Not afraid to showcase the incongruities between progressive-minded people and communities throughout America."
— The Spool
"A transcendent piece of movie-making...a masterclass in human empathy"
— Movies (With Gravy) Podcast
"Exceptional... It is the best documentary I have seen playing at SXSW so far this year"
— Erik Childress, Efilm Critic
Woods Hole Film Festival, Best of the Fest
Atlanta Children's Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature
Providence Children's Film Festival, Audience Choice, Best Feature Documentary Film
IFF Boston, Special Jury Award, Documentary Feature
Anchorage International Film Festival, Award Winner
SXSW, World Premiere
Giffoni International Film Festival, International Premiere
Morehosue College Human Rights Film Festival
New Haven Documentary Film Festival
International Social Change Film Festival
Woods Hole Film Festival
Atlanta Children's Film Festival
MKE Film Festival
Providence Children's Film Festival
Skyline Indie Film Fest
Bright Lights Film Series
Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People
Movies That Matter Film Festival
Anchorage International Film Festival