Hold Your Fire (film)

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Hold Your Fire is a 2021 documentary film directed by American writer and filmmaker Stefan Forbes about the 1973 New York City hostage incident in Brooklyn, New York, which helped birth modern hostage negotiation. It will be released theatrically by IFC Films on May 20, 2022.


The film centres on the actions of police psychologist Harvey Schlossberg during hostage incident which occurred on January 19, 1973, when four young African-American men stealing guns for self-defense were cornered by the NYPD, and took a dozen hostages.

Screenings and awards[edit]

Hold Your Fire premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

It won the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize at the 2021 Doc NYC Film Festival.

It won the 2020 Library Of Congress Better Angels Grand Prize for historical film.

It was NPR's Documentary of the Week in November 2021.[1]

Critical Response[edit]

  1. ^ "Documentary of the Week". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-12-31.

Manohla Dargis, writing for the The New York Times, called the film "Formally audacious."

“Hold Your Fire has all the ingredients of a Sidney Lumet film…as tense as any thriller from that period, the involving human stories and lasting impact of the events makes for an absorbing, gripping film with theatrical potential. -Allan Hunter, ScreenDaily.com

“Fast-paced, suspenseful real-life thriller featuring an array of fascinating characters…compelling” -Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

“Gripping…showcases the director’s skill with locating sympathy in a morally dubious or compromised character.” -Brent Simon, GoldenGlobes.com

“A searing look into a little-known moment in history with profound repercussions for how we understand policing today." Grade: A -Tambay Obenson, Indiewire

Media appearances[edit]

External links[edit]