Peter Nicks Provides Another Look At Oakland, California With The Force
In 2012 director Peter Nicks gave us a fly on the wall look at the experiences in a public hospital in Oakland, California with his documentary The Waiting Room. That film is a very strong debut feature documentary, and provided exactly what I want from a documentary. Any documentary that can craft a narrative without talking heads or voice over, relying wholly on captured images presented in a way that allows an audience to determine their own conclusion, is a documentary that has my attention. Thus, I am excited that Peter Nicks is tackling the experiences of the Oakland police department in his newest documentary The Force.
The trailer for The Force is advertising a movie that takes an on the ground approach to showcasing the going-ons of a police force struggling to do its job amidst social unrest, scandal, and a need for some serious change within their organization. There is a mix of visceral cinematography, as well as body camera footage, that appears like it will really put us into the world that that the Oakland police department deals with. There is a pulsating Drive-esque score playing throughout the trailer, which provides a sense of tension and excitement, that certainly works given the subject matter.
After seeing the trailer, I am very excited for this documentary. I also like what director Peter Nicks has to say about his approach to capturing the events on film, which is doubling my excitement:
It was important that the cops be humanized. In my way of thinking, humanizing does not necessarily mean making somebody look good. It just means to offer a fuller dimension of who you are as a person in an environment where you’re gonna face moral choice, or you’re going to face a crisis of some kind.*
The Force starts its limited release on September 15th, and will expand to select cities after that. Given that were I live is never part of these “select cities” runs, I hope that a streaming service picks this up soon.