In his documentary Coppers, Alan Zweig (15 Reasons To Live) interviews Canadian ex-police officers. Occasionally, viewers are given the a ride-along perspective as the subjects drive around their formally patrolled turf and share some unforgettable stories. Most of these interviewees can recall aged confrontations as if it happened hours before Zweig’s camera turned on. For some, these cases have led to current wellness complications. Along with riding shotgun, Zweig has also emulated the atmosphere of a interrogation session with his camera placement and with his probing questions.
Coppers is interesting for half its length. After that, the film starts feeling repetitive and eventually runs out of gas. Even though I admired the premise and Zweig’s interviewing skills, I was still bothered by the documentarians’s lack of ambition. This is yet another one of his projects where he lets his subjects steer the movie, which makes his presence as a director absent (this was the exact same problem he had with his problematic comic-doc When Jews Were Funny).
When it’s revealed that Zweig comes from a background of having distain towards the police, this triggers some conversations that add a personal layer to the documentary. It’s not a complete saving grace for Coppers, but it’s a touch that gives the film some personality.
Coppers screens at TIFF on:
Thursday, September 12 at 12:30 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre (Press & Industry)
Thursday, September 12 at 9:00 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Saturday, September 14 at 4:15 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Runtime: 86 minutes
For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.
Buy tickets here.
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