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Do Not Resist

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 7:00pm
Screening Partner

Do Not Resist

Craig Atkinson | 
 2016 | 
70  minutes

The most shocking sequence in Craig Atkinson’s incendiary new film doesn’t take place on the streets of Ferguson, or in the middle of a SWAT raid — it happens in a hotel conference room during a presentation to police officers. “What do you fight violence with? Superior violence. Righteous violence. Violence is your tool ... You are men and women of violence.”

Superior violence increasingly means 48,000-pound armoured vehicles, assault rifles, and rocket launchers, employed in poor or marginalized communities where civilians are termed “the enemy” in the rhetoric of war. Do Not Resist exposes the political machinations that led U.S. police forces to resemble paramilitary organizations. Expertly-chosen court and news footage show the cause-and-effect relationship between bureaucratic decisions and street-level reality. But the most deeply troubling ideas examined are the shifts in attitude, as police become something akin to an occupying army. As the U.S. slides further into a fascist mentality, Do Not Resist is a necessary and critical film. 

“A quietly seething look at present-day policing in America ... An experience best had in the cinema.”The Hollywood Reporter

“Gratitude goes to those documentarians who shine a broader light, which is what Craig Atkinson does in Do Not Resist ... Maybe it takes a documentary to generate the kind of anger necessary to galvanize the public.”Variety

“Even without the guidance of narration or a single story arc, it becomes clearer and clearer that the war on terror has unwittingly spawned another war: between police officers trained to fight like soldiers and the people they’ve sworn to protect. Not every cop has it out for the little guy, of course, but the guiding attitudes at the departments featured in the film leave no room for compassion...the movie, which won the award for best documentary feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, calls attention to a trend that has led to some startling societal changes.The Washington Post

Winner of Best Documentary Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2016

In honour of Black History Month, DOXA Documentary Film Festival and The Cinematheque are very proud to offer this encore screening for Vancouver audiences of Do Not Resist.