Sprawling, immediate, and complex, Peter Nicks’s vérité documentary moves like a pulsing, timely thriller. In 2014, after over a decade of federal monitoring for misconduct and civil rights abuses, the Oakland Police Department hires Chief Sean Whent … in hopes of bridging an historically tense divide between its officers and the community they serve. The Force captures everything; it hovers over Oakland’s evening skies and rides inside speeding police vehicles, granting viewers breathless firsthand access to some of law enforcement’s most dangerous jobs. With fly-on-the-wall intimacy, we see a department trapped in transition, desperate to shed its corrupt image but also challenged by an increasingly organized and urgent Black Lives Matter movement erupting right outside its doorstep.
"Hypnotic and eye-opening. The Force 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."
“An urgent chronicle that captures the deep ruptures in our communities. Riveting and resonant.”
“Gripping. Inspiring. Brutally honest.”
“Takes us behind the blue wall, offering a poignant, realistic sense of the difficulties and challenges of modern policing.”
“A penetrating, you-are-there look at the men and women in blue that patrol the Bay Area.”
"The Force is a gripping, broad-spectrum nonfiction drama that stuns with its sublime mastery of intelligent storytelling.”
“Engrossing. Absorbing. Crystal-clear. The Force examines one of the most talked about issues in America from an ideal vantage point."
Directing Award, U.S. Documentary – Sundance Film Festival 2017
Best Bay Area Documentary– San Francisco International Film Festival
Courage in Cinema Prize – Independent Film Festival Boston