Yance Ford’s Power is a hard-hitting documentary that takes an in-depth look at the history and modern-day impact of policing in the United States. The 86-minute « essay-film » has been making waves since its premiere at Sundance and is set to stream on Netflix, where it is sure to provoke much-needed conversation.

Ford’s film expertly weaves together the work of academics with a rich archival record to examine the origins, structure, and impact of police power in the US. The documentary cleverly structures itself around themes rather than chronology, shedding light on the role of policing in social control, maintaining the status quo, and global uprisings.

Throughout the film, Ford exposes the colonialist origins of paramilitary tactics and connects this to the crackdowns, persecution, and violence perpetrated by modern US police officers. Power includes interviews with respected figures, such as journalist Wesley Lowery and former police officer turned reform activist, Redditt Hudson, who emphasize that the unchecked power held by police has deadly consequences.

One of the film’s most powerful scenes features a conversation between Black community advocates and a long-time Black police officer, Charlie Adams. This intense discussion sheds light on the routine injustices faced by Black youths within the justice system, highlighting the urgent need for an alternative approach to policing.

However, while Power effectively argues that the system has been corrupt from its inception, the film could benefit from exploring individual experiences and complications in greater depth. The documentary’s compelling analysis of the need for change leaves the audience questioning how this should be achieved.

Overall, Power is a thought-provoking and timely documentary that presents a damning case against the institution of policing in the US and calls for a demand for change.

  • Power – a hard-hitting documentary by Yance Ford
  • Premiered at Sundance and set to stream on Netflix
  • Examines the origins, structure, and impact of US policing
  • Expertly structures around themes of social control and global uprisings
  • Features powerful interviews with prominent figures and community advocates
  • A thought-provoking and timely call for change