Film Review: ‘Detroit’ is Stark, Blunt & Honest U.S. History

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CHICAGO – It has become clear to anyone who is making an observation about authority and “order” in America, that for certain people it comes with a severe price. “Detroit” explores an incident within the 1967 riots there, when white police officers raided a hotel and perpetuated crimes of their own.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

In the 1960s, tensions within the African American communities in major cities had reached a boiling point. Forced into indignity by years of post-slavery Jim Crow laws, the substandard lives offered to people of color began to cause backlash and rioting in desperate urban neighborhoods. The City of Detroit had their long hot summer in 1967, when an unnecessary police raid on an after hours tavern in an all-black enclave caused the city to explode. Within those days of rioting was the Algiers Hotel incident. This incident is the focus of “Detroit,” as director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) takes an unblinking look at the police brutality during that brutal time. With Ferguson, Missouri, still heavy on our minds, it seems that everything old is new again.

The Summer of 1967 was a incendiary time in America, especially for civil rights era African Americans. The match hit gasoline when Detroit police raided a “blind pig,” an after hours and unlicensed tavern in the city’s near west side neighborhood. The confrontation escalated to riot proportions, and the mostly white police force of Detroit was overmatched, so the state called in National Guard troops to restore order.

Sniper rumors abounded in the neighborhoods affected by the riots, and the Algiers Hotel became a the target of those rumors. Policemen, led by Officer Krauss (Will Poulter) raided the building, and rounded up anyone they thought might have fired the shots, including a Vietnam veteran named Greene (Anthony Mackie), a Motown singing artist named Fred (Jacob Latimore) and two white women (Hannah Murray and Kaitlyn Dever). The interrogation escalates, and three African American men are shot dead.

“Detroit” has a limited release, including Chicago, on July 29th and releases everywhere on August 4th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Anthony Mackie, John Boyega, Will Poulter, Hannah Murray, John Krasinski, Kaitlyn Dever and John Krasinski. Written by Mark Boal. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Detroit”

Detroit1
Riots Escalate in July of 1967 in ‘Detroit’
Photo credit: Annapura Distribution

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Detroit”

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