If you follow me on social media, you may have caught my initial reaction to the movie Detroit, the first film Kathryn Bigelow would direct since her Oscar nominated movie, Zero Dark Thirty (2012). The events depicted in the movie are from the Detroit riots that took place 50 years ago but on watching this I dare you not to draw similar comparisons to the goings on today.
For those unaware of these events like myself, the catalyst for the riots at the time was a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar, whose patrons were predominantly African Americans. The cops were very much within legal rights to shut down the operation and one would think that these men in power would conduct their business with some level of decorum. Patrons of the bar were relinquished of any civil rights as they pushed and shoved, threatened violence and openly grabbed the breasts and asses of the female patrons. The outlandish handling of this affair lead to public outcry from the community and is what we now know today as the 12th Street Riots of 1967.
Through the first act of the movie we get, well thought out clips of the event and real live footage from 50 years ago, melded in with an introduction to the multi character casts of the likes of John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, Alee Smith, Jack Reynor and a slew of other cast mates that deliver on some excellent performances.
The riot is but a backdrop as the director ushers us into the second act of the film, which sequences some of the worst police brutality you’ll ever witness. While hard to swallow this is where the performances shine bright. If you’ve read up on the events, then the end results will not be a surprise. I’m sorry to report there is no HEA in this movie. What follows is a trial as the police officers are asked to account for their actions.
In conclusion, while these type of movies give black people, as a whole some representation in Hollywood the last movie I watched of this type was Twelve Years A Slave. It’s my respect for this director and the story telling that compelled me to write-up a review about this film. Not only for the stellar direction and outstanding performances but for the relevance to how the subject matter still applies today. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you must be living under a rock.
Detroit, similar to Twelve Years A Slave is a movie that I am happy I saw but will most likely never watch again.
Kisses,Tags: 1967, Black Opression, Detroit, Detroit Riots, John Boyega, Kathryn Bigelow, Lola, Lola reviews, MGM Pictures, Will Poulter