The film Detroit takes place three years after the signing of the Civil Rights Act with the city’s 1967 riots as a backdrop. Police arrive at the Algiers Motel in search of a sniper. Instead of doing their job they opt for retribution. It was released in North America on August 4 and is soon to be released in Germany.
It was directed by Kathleen Bigelow of The Hurt Locker fame and has divided America in two. Huffington Post said it was “not just sloppy but downright dangerous”. While Richard Broody in the New Yorker decried the “immoral artistry” in a film in which “the meticulous dramatisation of events intended to shock strikes me as the moral equivalent of pornography.”
Rolling Stone magazine, on the other hand, thinks that it is a “hardcore masterpiece”.
Detroit is a tour de force. The world is full of so-called critics who know nothing and talk rubbish. The New Yorker and Huffington Post miss the point. They miss the beauty of the woods by pointing to a few ugly trees. America has not moved on since the 1960s. Police still brutalise and kill black people on a daily basis. And that is the point
The latest outrage to hit the news stands was the murder of Patrick Harmon by Utah police in October 2017. His last moments were posted on Youtube after he was stopped for having no back light on his bike. As in Detroit, the killers were acquitted.
And all this in a country where neo-Nazi youths recently marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “the Jews will not defeat us”. Donald Trump, the United States President, believes there were “some good” people among this mob.
Variety says the parallels between what happens in “Detroit” and the cases of police brutality and homicide in the Black Lives Matter era are overwhelming. I could not agree more.
- The Guardian : “Kathleen Bigelow rages against the brutal chapter in US race struggle…” – Full article
- Le monde : “La cinéaste Kathryn Bigelow revient sur l’assassinat par la police de trois Afro-Américains, en 1967.” – Article complet
- Cineralia : “Crítica de Detroit. Atrapados en las redes de la intolerancia.” – Artículo completo