Remembering the past and learning from it is how growth begins. The story of the 1967 riots in Detroit is a moment in American history that does not need to be forgotten. It needs to be remembered and its lessons learned.
The new film “Detroit” brings this education home to its audience through powerful images, raw emotion, and compelling story.
Detroit takes the audience into a city where tensions between the black community and police are on the rise due to widespread racism and brutality shown by officers. The tensions with police boil over into anger and violence after a group of black residents witness a raid on an after-hours bar.
As the violence spreads throughout the city, the National Guard is called in and a curfew is imposed. With chaos on the rise, several people seek shelter in the Algiers Motel while soldiers and police patrol the street nearby as shots ring out.
The motel is then raided and guests are questioned as to the whereabouts of the shooter. In the process, three young black men are killed.
The film shows that growing up in the greater Detroit area during the 1967 riots was one moment in history that is rarely discussed. I learned a little bit about it in school. At most, it was a few paragraphs in our textbooks when our teacher explained the civil rights movement — even then it was barely mentioned.
Detroit offers many lessons for its audiences to take in and absorb, such as how hate can destroy a person from the inside out. It also shows how evil hate can be in its cold and callous manner.
A scene that demonstrates this is when an officer shoots a “looter” in the back while the person is carrying two sacks of groceries. In another scene, an officer remarks, as he is “interrogating” a group of people, “I am going to assume that you’re all criminals.”
Watching the events unfold on the scene was chilling. Seeing the lack of humanity displayed was frightening to watch. The film is painful to watch at times.
Detroit is a film that everyone needs to see before it leaves theaters.
I give “Detroit” five mustaches out of five.
This movie is rated R for strong violence and pervasive language and runs 143 minutes.