An account of the increasing use of military weapons and tactics by local law enforcement in the United States, counterpointed with civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.
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An urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, DO NOT RESIST - the directorial debut of Detropia cinematographer Craig Atkinson - offers a stunning look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future. The Tribeca Film Festival winner for Best Documentary puts viewers in the center of the action - from a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team and inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of "righteous violence" to the floor of a congressional hearing on the proliferation of military equipment in small-town police departments - before exploring where controversial new technologies including predictive policing algorithms could lead the field next.Written by
Strong message diluted by indirect narrative and unimpactful editing
My introduction to this documentary was the trailer "Official trailer 1" on Youtube. Prior to seeing that I had no knowledge of this film
I feel like the pace, and editing of the trailer is far more direct and purposeful than that of the film itself. I found the introduction of this film a very slow start and through the first 15-20 minutes of this I questioned if I wanted to continue watching the movie.
I found that lack of any narrative and general laid-back approach to introducing the movie within the first 15-20 minutes off-putting and weak. It isn't until after first 20 minutes that we get to the message of the documentary aside from "riots are bad". I found the lack of any direct interview footage for the first 25 minutes of the film a poor choice, as as the film nears it's end some of the interviews are the strongest asset of the movie.
It's clear that there was a intentional and conscious decision to try to balance and intercut all informational footage with action scenes/task force and protest footage, which is fine for keeping things interesting, but it gets repetitive and uninteresting as it loses it's punch of the message. I feel like just a simple re-edit of this movie would really deliver a much stronger punch of "yes the army are actually giving away for free their mostly unused military equipment to the police force without any training" and yes "these novice officers are mostly misusing this military equipment for riots suppression and fear tactics where they are not actually allowed to do so."
I found the interviews and court-room footage, far more powerful than the constant need to keep standing around and watching the black lives matters protests. I absolutely understand that the Missouri and Mike Brown riots/protests are a big deal, but really I found most of it lacked any real purpose or direction in terms of storytelling.
I do recommend this documentary as it really does have something to say, especially towards the end, and there's lots of factual and informational footage buried in this movie, sadly I feel that it loses it's place as a must see documentary just because of how haphazardly it tries to find it's footing as a documentary with a message, especially for the first half.
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