Alameda artist Linda Weinstock's rendering of Shallow Waters.

Alameda artist Linda Weinstock's rendering of Shallow Waters.

"I was stunned by your doc. The outrage still lingers!"

                  -Paul Sloop, Short Films Programming Manager, Cleveland Int'l Film Festival


"'Are we our brothers' and sisters' keepers?' Or put another way, is selfishness a gross aberration of human nature? I think it is. But watching this superbly crafted movie gave me pause. A man drowned in shallow water as onlookers stood by. What does this say about them, about us, about the capacity for us to unite and create a society where people care about each other?"

                  -MIchael Steve Smith, Author, Attorney,
                    Co-host, Law and Disorder Radio (WBAI / Pacifica Radio Network)


"Shallow Waters is a lyrical and haunting documentary that asks penetrating questions about the value of human life and what has become of the social contract. As good as independent media does, it tells us not what to think but tells us what to think about. The public drowning of Raymond Zack was a deeply disturbing incident. As we gently unpeel the layers of what happened that day at an Alameda beach, the ramifications bear deeply on what it is to be human in the 21st century."

                  -Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance

"The Public Death of Raymond Zack captures with great poignancy the complexities, uncertainties, and vulnerabilities that mental illness triggers for the individual, and more visibly, for society at large. The narrative storytelling is compelling and skillfully crafted, and its message is clear: something has got to change."

               -Renata Sago, Reporter / Anchor, WMFE - FM / Orlando (NPR)


“The film’s subject is hard to believe, that something like this could happen and no one would just step up for a life. The film doesn’t really give answers; it creates more questions about our morality, red tape and how we respond to the mentally ill. It was an important film to screen as a memorial to Raymond Zack and an eye opener to what could occur again if we don’t show our displeasure with what happened in his case.”

                 -Skye Kelly, Director, Awareness Film Festival (L.A.)


"I saw several films during the festival here and Shallow Waters was by far the most moving documentary among them - and trust me, given that this festival consisted of nothing but compelling stories about the horrors of war and the terrible struggles against racism and sexism and environmental catastrophes and all the other struggles human beings tend to wrestle with, that's high praise.

"I think what makes the film so compelling is that it brings up so many issues: our ethical responsibility to each other; the many ways in which our bureaucracies can fail us; our mistrust -- our well-founded mistrust -- of the community services that are supposed to be protecting us. 

"If there is one thing I noticed about how people responded to this film, one question that stood out for everybody, it's this. We all -- every single one of us -- walked out of that documentary pondering the most important question of all that is posed by that incident: what would I have done? That includes me."

                -Michael McLeod, Professor at Rollins College / Global Peace Film Festival (Orlando, FL)


 “Shallow Waters exposes the paucity of public policy and social networks in contemporary American life, and it does so with great respect for both the subjects of the film and those who would view it. Resources for the mentally ill have been stripped leaving law enforcement and other emergency services as the primary interface for the mentally ill in this country – a duty for which they have no training. Few resources pertain to ordinary citizens seeking to aid their fellows and the stigma surrounding mental health issues persists doing damage to those suffering and the public at large. This film is an indictment, but it is also a call to action which should lead to a soul-searching moment for any community watching.”

               -Kelly Devine, Artistic Director of the Global Peace Film Festival (Orlando, FL)