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Detroit: Gut-wrenching and powerful

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Katherine Bigelow’s rendition of the 1967 police brutality in Detroit is a gut-wrenchingly powerful film which should cause even the hardest of hearts to question the actions and superior attitudes of the perpetrators. As a director, Katherine takes the viewer into the heart of the city where racism is rife and the innocent are presumed to be guilty.

Starring: Will Poulter, John Boyega, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie

We, as the viewers, enter the lives of the Dramatics – an R&B group who wishes to do nothing more than perform on stage, but the rioting in the streets not only permeates into their working lives denying the fulfilment of their dreams, but leads to unredeemable disaster.

‘Detroit’ focuses in particular on an incident which took place at the Algiers Hotel in 1967, where a trigger-happy cop shot an innocent young black man – someone who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time… and the way in which the cop attempted to cover-up his actions. In the script which was written by Mark Boal, two members of the Dramatics who are spending the night at the hotel in order to stay away from the rioting in the streets, are enmeshed in incident.

Katherine and Mark haven’t softened any of the action showing the brutality and the angst; superior attitudes with no respect for talent; and, the way in which violence is incendiary leading to looting, chaos and the loss of life.

In South Africa these actions were encompassed under the banner of ‘apartheid’ and yet, in what is meant to have been (and still is) the cornerstone of democracy exactly the same treatment took place… and is still being meted out, if what we see on our television screens is true.

‘Detroit’, distributed by Videovision and United International Pictures in South Africa, opens on our screens this weekend… Not to be missed!

 

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