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Do Not Resist: A documentary look at policing in America with its own narrative issues

In Do Not Resist, the Richland County Sheriff's Department's Special Response Team conducts basic SWAT training.

VANISH Films

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Do Not Resist
Directed by
Craig Atkinson
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2016

There is little doubt that the future of policing looks terrifying. Military-grade equipment, hightened tension in the squad rooms and on the streets – it's a mess out there for anyone who happens to rub officers the wrong way, for whatever reason. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply needs to take a look at what's happened in Ferguson, Mo.; Indian Springs, Nev.; Phoenix; Cleveland; New York or a dozen other incidents of recent fatal police shootings. In a bid to understand why the system is so broken, first-time documentarian Craig Atkinson tracks the state of (American) unrest in Do Not Resist. But while Atkinson's intentions are good, his methods are shaky, resulting in a surface-skimming film that raises issues without ever approaching a solution. What's worse is his shaky narrative framing and rookie pacing, all of which undermine what is a deadly serious issue deserving of a polished and powerful dissection.

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About the Author

Barry Hertz is the deputy arts editor and film editor for The Globe and Mail. He previously served as the Executive Producer of Features for the National Post, and was a manager and writer at Maclean’s before that. His arts and culture writing has also been featured in several publications, including Reader’s Digest and NOW Magazine. More

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