USA, 2017 (MIFF 2017, True Crime)
Director: Pete Nicks
A revealing, up-close-and-personal look at the day-to-day operations of the Oakland Police Department as it grapples with endemic corruption, sexism and racial violence. Winner of the documentary prize for Best Director at Sundance.
New Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent is a good cop in a bad system, doing his best to eliminate the graft, prejudice and abuse of power that's crippling his department. Having been under federal oversight for more than a decade, the Oakland PD is in major need of a shake up, but the tendrils of misconduct run deep and the actions of a few rogue cops could bring down the entire department.
Filmed over the course of three turbulent years, Peter Nicks' remarkable The Force is cinéma vérité of the highest order. From rookie cops doing beat runs to the uncontainable fallout from a departmental sex scandal, Nicks offers us a harsh yet compassionate insight into the lives and behaviour of those who have been charged to both serve and protect.
'Hypnotic and eye-opening… has the texture of a Michael Mann film combined with the clarity of a Frederick Wiseman documentary. I could have watched it for hours more.' – Village Voice