Meet the Sheriff



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Teresa Hewett Simmon

I think Ronald is a fine person and it's not because he's Really My 1st cousin. I was glad the film was done. I think it showed a real person, a man with real feelings and the heart and should he puts in to his job and how important he takes his job. I believe Ronald like a lot of our family believes in doing things as close to perfect as can be. Thanks for such a Great Job!

Suzy Johnso
Bolivia, NV

Sounds like he's a real go-getter, just not getting the drug dealers. Drug dealers been drugging a long time, fight the crimes where the roots are. Hewitt's roots aren't damaged but the citizens of Brunswick County may be damaged. Brunswick county is one of the top leading counties for drugs. He's a real go-getter, just not getting the ones he should get since his roots are so deep.

Derrick Weaver
Cleveland, OH

I felt like I was walking back into my old stomping grounds as I was watching this documentary. I am happy to say that I am a native of Brunswick Co. NC and remember coming in contact with Sherriff Ronald Hewett on a few occassions (not for anything bad). I was totally surprised to stumble upon this broadcast but happy to see that my hometown wasn't being displayed in a negative spotlight. This was an accurate portrayal of my beloved birthplace and I say kudos to this filmmaker for a job well done!

FH Sturkey
Copley Ohio

SHERIFF aired locally 1/20/06 and many fans/supporters of independent filmmakers and PBS thoroughly enjoyed it. The use of cinema verite' techniques added credibility to a complex characterization of the Sheriff and a unique introduction to an otherwise unfamiliar region. Thank you Daniel Kraus and we look forward to your next project!

J. Gregg
Avon-By-The-Sea New Jersey

I live in NJ but recently purchased a building lot in Brunswick County where my wife and I will build our retirement home. After viewing the film I feel confident there are people of good character in law enforcement in our future home.

Wilmington, NC

I just had to say that the show about you was an excellent one. It was very interesting. I know that just showed bits and pieces but people don't really realize just what is involved in doing your job. They think you just show up for interviews on tv and sit at your desk but now they get to see just what you do. Keep up the good job. Ole' PJ is so proud of you.... he thought alot of you in high school.



Pete B.
Delco, NC

I enjoyed your film. It showed the hard work that your Sheriff Hewitt puts into his works. It also shows his passion for his job.

I think the verite technique style you used doing the film seem more truthful. Great job.

Maco, NC

I think this film reveals the intricacies and nuances of the rural South. Daniel Kraus shows a real person from the South instead of just another superficial and banal representation of a Southern. It transcends the injurious stereotypes of ignoramuses from some parochial backwater.

sherri mitchell
bolovia nc

i just saw the movie sheriff,as a resiadent of brunswick co for over 20yrs.i can say you did a wonderful job showing that sheriff ronald as he is known is'nt some backwoods really showed the man i know as gentle as a pussy cat but tough as nails when he has to be that the south isn't the drop off point of the world .thank for your beautfull film.

Ouida Hewett

I loved the documentary tonight of Sheriff Ronald Hewett of Brunswick Co NC

Aaron Evans
Supply, North carolina

I am A resident of Brunswick county,and I feel that the show was "interesting". I've lived here for 18 years and that was about the most excitment thats been here the entire time. At the begining of the show he refer's to a murder by michael quinto, as he was A dear friend of mine his name is pronounced (Kwen-toe). I feel that the 23 year old boy who has 2 life sentences at least deserves the respect to get his name pronounced right. Other than that the film was accurate to the "situations" this town has seen.

Gary Mott
Calabash, NC

What a wonderful presentation on our Sheriff, Ronald Hewett. He has been and continues to be an honest, hardworking,church going,loyal law enforcement officer serving the citizens of Brunswick County. His ability to handle both the political and enforcement aspects of his job is a marvel to behold. As a retired law enforcement officer, I am proud to have Sheriff Ronald Hewitt protecting the people of Brunswick County and this film was a perfect venue to communicate his work ethics.

Emily Bielewicz
Fairport, New York

I thought this was such an awesome film. My whole family was entranced by it. One by one we started watching it and got hooked. I hope it aires again soon because I have been telling all my friends about it. I don't think Ricky Gervais (The Office) could have written a script this amusing and this was real life. SHERIFF may not have been meant to be humerous but I know we were laughing over it for the rest of the night. Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett is quite a character.

Thank you for making this film. I really enjoyed it.

J. Kearney
Waynesboro, VA

What a thought-provoking documentary! Not normally a big fan of the "Cops" genre, I found myself surprisingly absorbed in the daily doings of Sheriff Hewett. I was amazed by the enormous responsibility this man carries, and how he still manages to be a normal member of his own hometown. Sheriff Hewitt was very well captured by the director, and I look forward to seeing more of his film work.

Sam Jackson
Archer, FL

For those of us who use the expression "good ole boy" as a compliment, Sheriff Hewett is a "great ole boy". He is missing that slight bit of rascality that some people consider part of the package, but he certainly makes up for it in integrity. I particularly admired him for telling the church group that he wasn't going to harass the nudist camp.

Also, with the possible exception of New Orleans, Calabash NC has the best seafood restaurants in the country.


I was very moved by your film. The way you shot the film and edited was amazing. I was seeing so many film techniques used that I often wondered if this was the work of a large production company.

I enjoyed seeing the many sides of the sherrif as well. Without narration the film gave me, the viewer, an intimate sense of being the sherrif and for a few minutes living in his shoes.

Frank J. Pinkowski
Montrose, PA.

Great documentary. Great man! The lawful and lawless in Brunswick County, NC are fortunate to have him as their Sheriff.

Patricia Lundstrom
Homewood, IL

Thank you so much for the wonderful film I experienced tonight. For the first 40 minutes of it, I was in the kitchen listening on the radio (TV band) with no visuals, and every change of scene and situation was evident, just from the flow of the audio. It was marvelous.

Great editing and a willingness to trust your instincts are the only things that could have painted such a vivid image of what I was hearing. I may have missed out on some visual characterizations of the town or area (wish I had seen the "Worms and Coffee" sign!) but the characterization of the man came through brilliantly.

Finally, with 20 minutes left to go, I thought, "I HAVE to see this man," and stopped cooking long enough to go and sit and watch. The transition was flawless, which I feel makes it a truly successful film.

Thank you for your patience and for your foresight into what would make a compelling film. You left a very warm spot in my chest. In a good way!

Jami Shipman

I thought the documentary did a great job of showing Sheriff Hewett as a real person and not just a man with a badge. Kraus' documentary captures the behind the scene activities and responsibilities of a law enforcement officer that you don't see elsewhere on television.

wanda watts cleveland
anderson, south carolina

I especially enjoyed the film on "sheriff". my family is from there (Shallotte, Supply, Southport) and I felt like I was watching them being taken care of. I love the accent, it reminds me of my Pa and Granny and others of my family. I remember my Dad talking about the "green swamp" and his playing there as a child. The film was good because it was not overshadowed with a lot of external fluff, it portrayed life as it is. Mr. Kraus did an excellent job.

Caroline Lewis

As the daughter of a father who was murdered in Brunswick County in 1998, I'll be curious to see if the portrayal of Sherriff Hewett is anything like how I've experienced the local Brunswick county officials. House arrest for gut-shooting a man in the back doesn't seem to be the sort of law and order this county and this Sheriff should be proud of ... which is why as a born and raised Southern girl of New Hanover County, I live up north, as far away from that kind of justice as possible. Some parts of America are still ruled by justice ...the only color of our flag that runs in Brunswick County is red.

Robert Hewett
Salem, Oregon

I happened onto the last half of the film. I found it fascinating, both in terms of the activities of the sheriff and his dedication to public service and also because I wonder if by chance there is some historic relationship between his family and mine.

Regina Arrendell
Cleveland, Texas

I thought SHERIFF had a nice balance betweem humor and drama. It was too gritty and it showed the human side of small county law enforcers. I thought Sheriff Hewitt was very likable. He also to appears to be a pretty smart guy and seems to know his business well. I love the verite techinique. It lets the story be the story without undue influence from the documentarian.


I have worked in law enforcement for 6 years and am now employed in the corrections field. Watching Sheriff Hewett only made me more convinced I have to get back out on the streets and back into the community serving as he does. I think the Sheriff has one of the most challeging and thankless jobs in society. You must be there when the people want you. However, when you are not called you are the enemy. Sheriff Hewett has to wear many hats. That of peacekeeper, family man, father, community leader, role model, etc. The list could go on and on. Of course he is sympathetic but he is also tough and steely. I liked Kraus' use of cinema Verite because it was real, not fluffed up with comment or suggestion. THe filmaker left that up to the individual viewer. It does indeed seem more truth-like because the "extras" are absent.


Viewing the verite' Sherriff program gave great insight to his thought process.

One could see his "forethought" in order to keep the continuity moving forward.

Caring deeply for his fellow workers and subordinates made him a top contender. Thus his distinction of honour.

Without all the distractions, it makes for a much more interesting cinema. Already a fan of "real life" shows, there is no comparison.

Allowing the natural animal sounds, grounding our thoughts in the geographical area, reminded us how the dense lush forestry lends to the dificulty of catching a criminal on the loose.

Great job.

Dr. Jeff Crabtree
Columbia NC

I went to school with Sheriff Hewett and we graduated together from the West Brunswick High School. I have always thought highly of Ronald and always believed that he has made a great law enforcement office and Sheriff. Ronald is still a good friend!

k fenimore

Taking a step back, to the director's decision to hold Sheriff Hewitt up to the light... out of an infinite number of people and subjects to document, Kraus targeted a perfect subject.

As far as humor and drama -- he captured the Sheriff living his life.. with such an interesting character there will be humor or drama whether you hope fo it or not.

Kraus made cinema verite work, not many directors can pull the style off... so kudos to Kraus and hats off to PBS for supporting him, looking forward to more of Kraus in the future.

Chris Manos
Denver, Colorado

I have not seen Sheriff. But I am a fan of the verite movement and responded to the director's comments in the "Filmmaker Q&A" section of this website. It is true that there are very few records being made of average people anymore, and this is sad. I hope this marks the beginning of a renaissance for this kind of picture.

Samantha Purcell

I saw Sheriff when it played in New York earlier this year and I'm glad to see it on PBS. I really liked Kraus' use of verite. Having seen both of his other films, which are both really good but differ substantially in tone with Sheriff, it really shows his restraint when dealing with a human subject. I hope to see more movies like this from Kraus in the future.

Craig O
North Hollywood, CA

I really enjoyed his film, both because it's dramatic and because it's funny. He's chosen a really wonderful, unique, everyman to follow and it's great to see this guy doing what he does, caring for the community while kicking a little butt in the process. The verite style takes some getting used to, especially the lack of music, as it makes the film feel longer than it actually is. But, truth be told, the sounds of Brunswick are the music to the film: the crickets chirping, cicadas rattling, wind in the trees. There are wonderful things to see and hear in life if we slow down to do so.


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