Detroit – Review
In the summer of 1967, riots broke out in many cities, including Detroit. The film focuses on a specific tragedy that took place in the Algiers Motel involving the deaths of 3 innocent black men and Detroit began with a discussion of The Great Migration, which was the movement of black people to Northern cities to look for jobs and escape the South. The mass migration of blacks and their restricted living conditions were spoken about and depicted through artwork that represented the struggle and violence black people had experienced. The story itself continues with an introduction to the victims and antagonists, then breaks into scenes of the devastating night. The director, Kathryn Bigelow, used disheartening events and an unnerving story to bring attention to important topics of injustice and racial disharmony.
When I left the theater, my heart hurt having to watch what I know has happened. Knowing that all people of color experience an indifference by racists or have suffered police brutality and mistreatment is hard enough, but actually seeing it occur makes it worse. Detroit didn’t move me a lot because I haven’t had a blind eye to cases involving victims like Eric Garner or Sandra Bland. I know that people of color still have to be cautious around police. What affected me most and made the movie powerful was the fact that injustice and brutality continues to happen. Instead of just recreating racism that took place, they showed an example of what is going on. A chilling thing about this movie was the familiar white cop, Will Poulter. If he would’ve been shown walking around town, you couldn’t have identified that he discriminates against people for no reason. However, Poulter’s character thinks he can hop down the road and label any black person as a thug or threat. The movie Detroit provides a good example of what needs to be changed.
The plot of the movie was fascinating and kept me focused. Some parts could’ve been condensed, but I think all in all the movie was well done. The acting by everyone was memorable, with strong emotions shown through their characters. A disappointing issue was when each man died, they didn’t hold the camera in long enough to let the impact of it sink in. When we watch an important character die, the first second or two we feel shocked, then we feel the sadness that is brought after that instant reaction. By not holding out the camera for a few seconds, the viewer didn’t properly grieve the deaths. That should be a priority in this movie because these were real life people who were killed because of their ethnicity. It was heart-wrenching. Detroit was made by white people, for white people, to tell a story that needed to be told, but it was nothing new for blacks who have gone through things like this before.
Make time to watch Detroit. The incident itself was something special to watch to learn why people were so angry during this time period. It explained why looting and riots arose and also why this film needed to be made. I’d say to see this movie at 7 o’clock, when the theater is busy, to see other reactions. People around me gasped or cried, and that also intensified what was going on. Grab a quick bite beforehand and skip the concession stand because you wouldn’t want to miss something trying to open a bag of nachos. Don’t miss the message either. Watch Detroit and learn from it too.