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Staff & contributors

By retelling a vital chapter of the civil rights movement from the perspective of an entire community—and not just through individual prominent figures—Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power emphasizes the need for collective action, and what it really means to fight for equal rights. And through highly articulate interviewees who've all maintained a clear, analytical understanding of the different philosophies driving the movement forward, the documentary also becomes uncommonly optimistic, energetic, and good-humored about this continuing fight. This is history not as an artifact but as a living thing, still present in the everyday and still great fun to learn about.

Genre: Documentary, History

Director: Geeta Gandbhir, Sam Pollard

, 2024

Who polices the police? It’s an age-old question that’s nowhere near finding an answer, especially in America where law enforcement is deeply rooted in racism and violence. But this documentary by Yance Ford is a noble and ambitious attempt to answer that. It features multiple scholars who weigh in on the history of America’s police force, which evolved from sheriffs who displaced Native Americans to slave patrols who controlled African Americans and, later on, to troops who broke up protests held by the working class. The documentary is heady with ideas, but sometimes it feels like it’s taking in more than it can tell. The scholars, as cerebral as they are, sound like they’re going in circles the way the film is edited. And though Ford occasionally breaks these talking heads with poetic ruminations of his own, the documentary could benefit from a more focused, personal, and imaginative take. As it is, Power feels more like an informative but flat history lesson, instead of a powerfully moving social film.

Genre: Documentary

Director: Yance Ford

Rating: R