Skip to content

DO NOT RESIST | Movie Review – Tribeca Film Festival 2016

Do Not Resist Banner303
DO NOT RESIST | © 2016 Vanish Films

Take a look around

Ever wonder what it’d be like to be policed by the military? Living under a Police State mentality? What it’d be like under the same watchful eye in the sky as those in Iraq or Syria? To be researched (without notice) under a newly-formed, statistical database that’ll inform local law enforcement percentage probability of you committing a future crime? Let’s go even further, what it’d be like generations down the line to be policed by RoboCop or The Terminator? Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, truth be told, we’re not so far from it, ladies and gentleman. Thanks to our tax dollars and the US government’s green light, it’s been creeping upon us little-by-little and it’s all due to a paranoid post-9/11 mentality.

Thanks a lot, Mr. Bin-Laden!

In a nutshell, DO NOT RESIST is a frightening and powerful exposition of the rapid militarization of police forces in the United States. Setting its pace on raw, unsettling footage in Ferguson, Missouri, the film then opens its scope wider upon presenting scenes from across the country – a conference presentation where the value of high-end tactical weapons, training and technologies are presented to potential police buyers, a community that has just received its very own military-grade tank, and a SWAT team arriving at a home to execute a (harsh) warrant.

With what has to be the most intense directorial debut ever, Mr. Craig Atkinson shot (no pun) his film over a two-year course and in eleven states. Through careful and respectful observances, Atkinson presents the characters and stories that mesh this serious issue. The results? A rare look into the increasingly disturbing realities of American police culture. (A cumulative, drastic effect for lack of a better term.)

Some will take this as anti-police or providing sympathy for the bad guy(s), but it’s far from it. Quite frankly, its neutral approach presents both sides and most often than not, winds up hurting those who are less inclined to do anything wrong. Its borderline, quasi-successful approach has led to continuous growth of dislike, fear and criticism of police all over the country. Not to say they’re all bad, but as someone making a statement in the film, a badge is just as powerful as money and there needs to be checks-and-balances on who (and how much) power is granted to.

Strategically presented, what this film displays is amazing, disturbing, shocking and frightening how this has quietly happened, DO NOT RESIST is a thought-provoking piece that will add more debates and discussions regarding an issue already in effect in countries like Russia, for example. The end result of all this lies within us, the people, but… how much power or voice do we have?


Grade: A / Genre: Documentary / Run Time: 1:23

Directed by: Craig Atkinson

Do Not Resist Banner202

Website / Facebook / Twitter / TFF2016

Vanish Films Logo

© 2016 Vanish Films