Saturday, December 31, 2016

Movie Review: Do Not Resist (2016)


Filmmaker and fellow Wayne State University alumnus, Craig Atkinson, has forged together a  documentary about the militarization of police forces across the United States in his visually compelling (but sometimes too liberal, bleeding heart) documentary, Do Not Resist.
 His online biography says that he's from Metro Detroit, which means that he's not from Detroit Proper like yours truly. Therefore, like another Michigan movie maker who skillfully shouts out against The Establishment, Michael Moore, but who prefers the safety and comfort of suburban living, Atkinson's take on America's shift right should be viewed in perspective. Allow me to elaborate.


The film starts out with some tense, riotous scenes from the events which occurred at Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. They could be stock footage or not. However, they serve as a launching pad for Atkinson's undeniable thesis that we have some things that have gone very wrong under the Obama administration although he seems to hold the soon to be ex-President blameless (and almost regretful) by showing a portion of his recent visit to a penitentiary to visit inmates and bemoaning the 'mistakes of their youth'. None of their victims were graced by the presence of the POTUS.

Yes it's disturbing that SWAT teams can break and enter homes virtually at will, and yes it's troubling that local police forces around the country are being stuffed with almost new vehicles (some leftover body parts still in them) and technology from the U.S.A's  Middle East wars, but what's more upsetting is that we have the wave of a new generation of battle hardened veterans filling the ranks of police departments across America. What's worse, they are being fed by an ideology that, not in so many words, screams, "kill without prejudice." Clearly, this is not what can sustain a nation of laws indefinitely and, obviously, the wheels of justice must soon run flat, or have their tires shot out, lest anarchy ruins somebody's New York cocktail party.

Also, if you've never seen Spielberg's 2002 futuristic movie, Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise and based on legendary, sci-fi writer, Philip K. Dick's story, you might want to watch it and then compare it to the reality articulated and verified in Do Not Resist. It's an old science fiction meme of police state surveillance that is in full bloom in academies and on the streets as we speak and nobody could care less. I mean, ask yourself: Don't you just assume that you're being watched somewhere, somehow when you go out in public? Let's just hope that your profile is not mistaken for that of a wanted terrorist or criminal's. If it is, do not resist!


All in all, if you're doubtful about the staggering statistics Atkinson presents in the film, you could probably be less lazy than the director and look them up yourself but that would require more of a sensationalist mindset that you must succumb to if you sit down, slip on your body proof armor and buckle up for a wild ride of bullets, bug eyed policemen (mostly white) and poor people of color being harassed for very little probable cause. The tragedy unfolding in the streets of America is there, you can be sure of that, but perhaps the bigger tragedy is that directors like Atkinson can make a buck on the flip side of military industrialism by sloppily criticizing it cinematically. Stay home to watch this on Amazon Prime Video. Don't go out and get snared or shot at. You're chances are still pretty much slim to none unless you have unseen enemies in shadowy places.

The lazy person claims, "There is a lion in the road! There's a lion in the streets!"--Proverbs 26:13