"Kathryn Bigelow’s eviscerating epic warrants a subtitle: The Anatomy Of A Riot." Empire

Showing Times

Detroit, 1967.  It was a long, hot summer and racial tensions, always at a simmer, were building in the largely black landscape of downtown.  The city was the original cauldron of equality; plentiful well-paid jobs on the automotive assembly lines created a rainbow middle class, but this once-wealthiest city in the US was on its way down, and there was no Motown soundtrack for what was to come.  Five days after a flashpoint encounter between police and the black community, fierce riots left 43 dead, 1,200 injured, 7,000 arrested and 2,000 buildings scorched. 

Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) presents a shifting, multi-character dramatisation of these events that is as powerful as it is timely.  We follow the story of a young group of musicians who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time; the black security guard (John Boyega) who strives for reason in the midst of madness; and the trigger-happy Detroit policemen who routinely mete out racially-motivated brutality.  Composed of jagged, brief scenes with occasional news footage, the film is a visceral illustration of the intrinsic racial bias that is still with us: witness the  "Black Lives Matter" campaign.  At the end, though, this magnificent, insistent film provides catharthis, along with an invitation to heal.


Film Information

143 mins

Our Charity

We donate 100% of our profits to The Sustainability Institute,
a pioneering South African charity dedicated to changing lives.

Find out more