The Force - SIFF Review (2017)

NR Running Time: 80 mins



  • A tremendously insightful documentary that offers an accurate depiction of a police force in complete chaos, both internally and externally, spotlighting its tenuous relationship with the Oakland community it is sworn to serve.


  • With no narration and a series of scenes stitched together, the film offers no opinion and simply tells its story through the footage assembled. Some may question what the film presents, but the nitpicking says more about you than anything the film shows us.


This searing and visceral documentary shines a spotlight on the Oakland Police Department, in a tumultuous time of healing within their ranks and in a distrusting and polarized community.

Director Peter Nicks offers a look at the Oakland PD in a cinema verite style, allowing viewers to witness new recruits going through their academy training, engage in real-life situations, and discuss and debate what a trusted and successful police department means to not just the officers’ themselves, but also the people they are expected to serve and protect.

Unbiased, brilliantly edited and conceived, The Force is a true gem and one of the year’s finest documentaries.


Documentary Featuring: Sheilagh Polk, Jonathan Cairo, Ben McBride, Johnna Watson, Sean Whent, Juan Carlos Zapata.

Director: Peter Nicks
Written by: Linda Davis, Lawrence Lerew, Peter Nicks (writers and story)
SIFF Premiere Date: May 20, 2017
Kino Lorber