Arresting Power
Archival newsreel from Portland, OR
Scene from documentary "Arresting Power"
Scene from documentary "Arresting Power"
Archival newsreel from Portland, OR

Arresting Power

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Directed and Produced by: Jodi Darby, Julie Perini & Erin Yanke 

    Released: 2015
    Running Time: 84 min
    Language:  English, Spanish Subtitles,
    Subjects: Sociology, Criminal Justice, African American Studies 

    ARRESTING POWER documents the history of conflict between the Portland police and community members throughout the past fifty years. The film features personal stories of resistance told by victims of police misconduct, the families of people who were killed by police, and members of Portland’s reform and abolition movements. Utilizing meditative footage taken at sites of police violence, experimental filmmaking techniques, and archival newsreel, Arresting Power creates a space for understanding the impacts of police violence and imagining a world without police.
    This film provides a historical and political analysis of the role of the police in contemporary society and the history of policing in the United States. It provides a framework for understanding the systems of social control in Portland with its history of exclusion laws, racial profiling, gentrification practices and policing along lines of race and class. It serves to uncover Portland’s unique history of police relations and community response.


    Reviews / Quotes:

    “In this era of unrestrained police violence, Arresting Power should not be missed. While focused on Portland, the lessons are universal and ageless - the system is not broken, the police are here to maintain power for those that have always wielded it!” - Claude Marks, The Freedom Archives

    “If we can not take an honest, graphic, look at the problem of state violence and police terror as it relates to race and class, then we are doomed to escalate and repeat the worst aspects of our potential as an oppressive society. Arresting Power is a deep meditation on the reality of a deadly danger in our midst that destroys lives of real people. This film is an important step in an assessment of where we've been, where we are and what must change.” - Mic Crenshaw / Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan

    “As Portland continues to rise in rankings of ‘best cities to live in,’ it’s imperative to understand a part of the city’s history and present-day climate that doesn’t pop up on Portlandia.” -Amy Lam / Bitch Magazine

    “Bucking the current Portlandia image, the film builds a context for understanding systemic racism in Portland through the long lens of history. “ - Rose Bond / Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism

    “Arresting Power is an activist’s tool. This is a film made not so much for Oscar contention as for community ownership.” - Rose Bond / Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism