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Filmmaker Pete Nicks on his film "The Force" about the Oakland Police Department


Incidents of police misconduct here in the Bay Area and nationwide have fueled widespread public concern. That’s what inspired filmmaker Pete Nicks to make his documentary movie “The Force,” which is out right now.

The film focuses on the Oakland Police Department — an organization put under federal oversight more than a decade ago because of abuse-of-power issues by officers. When the film was about to be released, the department came under investigation for a sex scandal involving a teenaged girl.

But this documentary goes beyond those headlines to explore the inner workings of a police department. And it does it so well, Pete Nicks was named best director of a U.S. documentary film this year at the Sundance Film Festival. He sat down for a conversation with KALW’s Rose Aguilar, who asked him how he got such deep access to the Oakland Police Department.

This is an excerpt of a conversation that originally aired on Your Call. Hear the show by clicking here.

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.