Parents' Guide to

Use of Force: The Policing of Black America

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Devastating docu on police brutality has graphic violence.

Movie NR 2022 110 minutes
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For families looking to initiate or continue having necessary and difficult conversations about race and race relations, this searing documentary is essential viewing. Watching Use of Force: The Policing of Black America can be at times a difficult experience, as dashcam and camera phone footage shows instances of the murders of African Americans in real time. George Floyd, Philando Castile, Laquan Macdonald -- to see these killings and so many others placed within historical context reveals the depth of the problem. For viewers willing to address, confront, and reckon with where we've been, where we are, and where we hope to be going, this documentary and its content simply cannot be ignored or denied.

It's not all doom and gloom, as the documentary shows elected officials, community leaders, activists, police chiefs, and police officers working toward real and practical solutions. The documentary also makes the effort to understand the challenges police departments and police officers face with the demands of the job and a firmly entrenched culture and history of racist and prejudicial behavior that goes back decades, if not centuries. Use of Force: The Policing of Black America is likely to provoke controversy, particularly from those not interested in addressing issues of policing in communities of color. For individuals and families interested in digging deeper and asking themselves, their communities, and country the difficult questions required to begin change for the better, this documentary continues the conversation so many just started having in 2020.

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