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The Force presents a deep look inside the long-troubled Oakland Police Department as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform, civil unrest, and layers of inefficiency and corruption.


The Force presents a deep look inside the long-troubled Oakland Police Department in California as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform amid layers of inefficiency, corruption, and civil unrest after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A young police chief, hailed as a reformer, is brought in to complete the turnaround at the very moment the #BlackLivesMatter movement emerges to demand police accountability and racial justice in Oakland and across the nation. Despite growing public distrust, the Oakland Police Department is garnering national attention as a model of police reform. But just as the department is on the verge of a breakthrough, the man charged with turning it around faces the greatest challenge of his career—one that not only threatens progress already made, but the very authority of the institution itself. U.S. Documentary Directing Award, Sundance Film Festival 2017

“This film is extremely relevant, and contributes to the conversation about police training, use of force, corruption, culture and accountability.”—John Raphling, senior researcher, US Program, Human Rights Watch


Peter Nicks

Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer

Peter Nicks is an Emmy Award-winning shooter/director known for his courageous cinema vérité style. He directed/produced The Waiting Room, which was released theatrically in 2012 to critical acclaim and won numerous awards including an Independent Spirit Award. Nicks, a 2015 United States Artist Fellow, is in the midst of his trilogy of timely, immersive films exploring the interconnected narratives of health care, criminal justice and education in Oakland, CA.