The Monopoly Of Violence / Un pays qui se tient sage (2020)
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In this stimulating – sometimes shocking – documentary about police violence in France, filmmaker and journalist David Dufresne examines the ways in which a government comes to justify brutal acts enacted against its own citizenry. Taking its title from sociologist and political economist Max Weber – who wrote that the state establishes a “monopoly on violence” by claiming the legitimate use of force – Dufresne’s film mixes footage of attacks on protestors (largely on protestors from the gilets jaunes, or ‘yellow vest’ movement), and interviews with intellectuals, police officers, and victims of police assault. Providing practical and necessary tools to identify and confront the normalization of real threats to democratic protest, The Monopoly of Violence shows the dangers of police serving the state rather than the people, while identifying a growing tendency among Western democracies to resort to totalitarian methods to keep the populace under their control.
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