The Force



Brattle Theatre Mon, May 1, 2017 9:15 PM
Film Info
Premiere Status:New England Premiere
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Peter Nicks


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—a young, clear-eyed idealist—in hopes of bridging an historically tense divide between its officers and the community they serve. Whent’s intentions and calls for transparency are immediately met with enthusiasm, but as his tenure begins, the realities of his department’s scandal-plagued past coincide with fresh accusations of brutality and harassment. 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.

—Sundance Film Festival guide

The UMass Boston Courage in Cinema Prize

UMass Boston is an educational institution dedicated to rigorous, open, critical inquiry.

The Courage in Cinema Prize recognizes these values and honors the work of filmmakers who champion these principles even at great sacrifice.

This year, UMass will bestow the Courage in Cinema Prize to Pete Nicks (THE FORCE) and Robin Lung (FINDING KUKAN).

Additional Information

Presented by:
UMB FIlm Series