Law and Order (Frederick Wiseman, 1969, 81 minutes, USA, English, 16mm)
In the wake of the riots of 1968, Frederick Wiseman trains his quiet, unobtrusive cameras on the Kansas City police department throughout their everyday routines as they work. The film surveys the wide range of work the police are asked to perform: enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general social services. The incidents shown illustrate how training, community expectations, socio-economic status of the subject, the threat of violence, and discretion affect police behavior.
“Because Wiseman rarely divulges why the police have been called, the viewer is forced to confront his own fundamental views of American race relations and the legitimacy of police authority. This features passages of ultra-black comedy as morally unsettling as anything in Stanley Kubrick’s filmography, and it contains some of Wiseman’s most aggressive experiments in editing and sound design, the jarring stylization making the content even more potent.” – Ben Sachs
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