Toronto 2019: Coppers

Coppers. Courtesy of TIFF.

Coppers is an informative film with regards to the psychological toll that police officers undergo but the film doesn’t break new ground in the genre.

Thirteen retired police officers share stories from their careers working the beat.  Some of them share stories about their home life as result of growing up in a cop house or serving on the force themselves.  One retired woman said that police officers tend to be “control freaks.”  Should they find themselves married to another officer, it wouldn’t end well.  Please don’t read that wrong.  What I mean is that marriages never tend to work out for cops because of their control issues.  Basically, there’s a certain temperament required for the job and it carries on into one’s marriage.  The same woman who grew up with a family of cops, became a cop, and married/divorced a cop has’t spoken to her father in ten years.

It’s not only their marriages that come problems upon tying the not.  The psychological toll from what they see does enough damage on its own.  After all, many of them are sharing some particularly brutal stories of what they saw.  It’s pretty brutal.  One cop turned to alcohol after seeing friends commit suicide.  In this particular case, his third wife gave him an ultimatum to get help.

It isn’t surprising to know that many cops witness trauma daily because it’s a part of the job.  This is what makes a film like Coppers feel rather predictable.  It’s as if we know what the cops in the film are going discuss before we even sit down to watch it.  In any event, director Alan Zweig gets as much information out of the subjects as possible.  It’s not an entertaining film by any means but Coppers sheds some light on a cop’s life post-retirement.

DIRECTOR:  Alan Zweig

Coppers holds its world premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in the TIFF Docs program. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.