The Force is a compelling 2017 documentary directed by Peter Nicks, which has successfully garnered critical praise for its stark and honest portrayal of the deeply intertwined issues of power, justice, and community relations in contemporary America. This feature-length movie features a roster of diverse personalities, including community activist Cat Brooks, police officer Jonathan Cairo, and Pastor Ben McBride, who leads a community organization focused on reducing gun violence in Oakland.
Ushering audiences into the world of the Oakland Police Department, the documentary takes an unflinching, eyes-wide-open approach, revealing the complexities, challenges, and inherent tensions in American law enforcement. It’s an intricate examination of a city grappling with internal discord and external scrutiny, echoing larger national discourses on police accountability and systemic reform.
At the movie's center, we have Cat Brooks, a renowned activist and co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, who anchors the community's voice of dissent, giving audiences a glimpse of what it's like to stand up for justice and racial equity amidst personal and societal threats. Her struggle and persistent fight offer a human face to the rallying cry for police reform.
On the other side of the spectrum, the film provides a unique inside look at the life of Officer Jonathan Cairo. Navigating his career in a department buffeted by scandal and scrutiny, his journey embodies law enforcement's challenging quest to balance duty and community respect. His experience is a testament to the burdens that police officers carry - to uphold justice while being constantly watched by a community that battles trust issues with the police force.
The documentary showcases Ben McBride, who has made it his life's mission to create safe communities. As the co-Director of PICO California's Live Free Campaign, he harnesses his expertise in community organizing and development, alongside faith- based organizing, to mediate between the police and the communities they serve.
Peter Nicks's direction is purposeful and potent, steering away from didactic conclusions yet facilitating critical reflection on part of the viewers. His ability to capture conversations and decisions that normally take place behind closed doors provides an invaluable look into the systemic issues plaguing modern-day policing and the multitude of perspectives on policing and reform.
The Force highlights a crucial period from 2014 to 2016, covering several high-profile incidences that boil over onto the streets of Oakland and across America. It does it with a keen investigative eye, revealing the gaping wounds under the surface and the Herculean task of healing and reform. It refrains from vilifying or sanctifying any single viewpoint or character, instead prioritizing dialogue and the unfolding of events over rhetoric and reductionist narratives.
The Force offers a distinctive format falling somewhere between a traditional fly-on-the-wall documentary and a cinema verité. The film takes the viewers through the dynamics of police training, the streets of Oakland, city-wide protests, tension-fraught community meetings, and the bottlenecks of Oakland's legal and political systems. It’s a frontline view of a fraught and tumultuous environment, providing a much-needed platform for discussions around race, authority, and identity politics in America.
At its core, The Force is steeped in a painful irony that impacts people on both sides of the blue line. This is not a movie that provides comfortable resolution, but one that incites dialogue, questions, and self-reflection. It underscores how tragedies, injustices, and social upheavals can spiral into collective trauma while reminding us of the difficult lines that police walk daily between serving their communities and protecting themselves.
To sum it up, The Force is an indispensable viewing for anyone seeking to understand the fraught relationship between law enforcement officials and those they are sworn to protect. It’s a brutally honest, non-partisan, deeply affecting portrait of a city, a police department, and a community struggling to find common ground. Its "behind-the-scenes" approach offers valuable insights into the intersections of politics, policing, and societal peace - making it a compelling testament to the struggles of real-life heroes in uniform and the communities they serve.
The Force is a Documentary movie released in 2017. It has a runtime of 93 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 80.How to Watch The Force
Where can I stream The Force movie online? The Force is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Force for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.