São Paula, Brazil, has the largest police force in the world, employing more than 100,000 personnel. It is also considered the best-equipped—comprising aerial support, mounted calvary, a counterterrorism unit, riot-control troops and other units and divisions. Beneath the surface, however, everything is not as glorious as it seems.
A Force for Change explores two sides of the São Paulo police department. First, it reveals a department that has been filled with corruption. Officers have befriended drug dealers and racketeers; others have been disgusted with injustice and taken the law into their own hands. Residents have had little or no respect or trust for the force because they have witnessed police officers engaging in corruption as well as abuse and even murder of citizens.
The film also documents another side of the police force—the change that came to it when, in 2003, a group of officers desperately prayed for God to intervene and to change them so they could transform the force and the city. A Force for Change chronicles the way God answered these prayers and the ways that São Paulo subsequently changed. The difference in the department and the city has been evident enough that other police departments have asked how their officers can become agents of change for their cities.
This well-done documentary tells an uplifting story about answered prayer, transformation, forgiveness and restoration. Some of the scenes and topics make it more appropriate for teenage and older viewers.