Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Detroit and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

          “Inconvenient” Realities Still Taking Us To Task

                                              Reviews by Ken Burke
                             Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow)
“Executive Summary” (no spoilers): During the bygone, bitter days of July 23-28, 1967 the 12th Street area of urban Detroit became a war zone as terrible, deadly riots broke out, with the immediately-provoking-incident being the raid of an illegal bar but the root causes easily found in generations of imbalanced-race-relations here in the Americas, specifically the previous decades of the 20th century when Blacks moved en masse into northern, previously White-dominated-cities.  Based in historical accounts of the events of this Motor City uprising—although focused mostly on brutal encounters between police and residents of the Algiers Motel rather than the entire civil disruption of that time—with some dramatic license taken (stirring up critics ready to pounce on any fictionalized script choices or omissions of larger context), this is a tremendously impactful, moving example of docudrama at its presentational finest, even if all viewers aren’t fully satisfied with the results (audiences haven’t warmed up to it much yet either, despite mostly very positive reviews, although Detroit’s now spread to considerably more theaters so that may change).

 You can consult various histories to find details I’m omitting unless you read on below, but the narrative structure brings together a racist cop with the full force of more troops behind him, 2 musicians and others trying to find some solace in that aforementioned motel, and a security guard wandering into the action then finding brutality he never expected even in the heat of a deadly riot.

Here’s the trailer:  (Use the full screen button in the image’s lower right to enlarge it; activate that same button on the full screen’s lower right or your “esc” keyboard key to return to normal size.)

If you can abide plot spoilers read on, but as this blog’s intended for those who’ve seen the film—or want to save some bucks—to help any of you who’d like to learn more details yet avoid important plot-reveals I’ll identify such give-away sentences/sentence-clusters like this: The first and last words will be noted with arrows and red.⇐  OK, continue on if you like.

What Happens: This somewhat-fictionalized version of actual events (using real names of several key participants, except for the 3 primary police officers) begins with (intentionally) crude animation and subtitles to present a concise statement about the post-Civil War Great Migration of Blacks to northern cities searching for increased employment opportunities and (wrongly assumed) decreased racial prejudice, leading to White flight from many inner cities—including Detroit—with accompanying economic strains and ghettoization of urban areas where largely Black populations faced conflicts with largely White law enforcement.  With this context established, Detroit shifts into action on the night of July 23, 1967 (illustrated at times throughout the film with news footage or black-and-white-photos of these historical events) as police raid a “blind pig” illegal (unlicensed) bar at the Economy Printing building where dozens of Black patrons are led through the front door (the cops’ preferred rear exit was chained shut) into the street, then into paddy wagons for their trip to the city jail, but this unintended public arrest display drew a crowd which grew violent as the police left, smashing store windows, looting, setting fire to buildings and cars.  Pleas for peace the next day from Congressman John Conyers Jr. (Laz Alonso) largely fall on weary ears as the accumulated racial tension in the city, let loose during these hot summer days, grows too fast to contain raging into the "West Side Ghetto"'s 12th Street Riot, quickly consuming some 150 blocks.  

 Representative of abusive individual police response to such civil unrest is a scene of officer Philip Krauss (Will Poulter) shooting a fleeing looter in the back with a shotgun, despite stated policy of protecting businesses and homes, not pursuing looters; the man manages to escape over a fence but dies before anyone can get him to a hospital, leading to Krauss’ superior telling this cop there’ll likely be a murder charge against him yet inexplicably allowing him back into action on the streets.

 Other early scenes also introduce Larry Reed (Algee Smith), lead singer of The Dramatics singing group (desperately trying to get a recording contract), and his friend, Fred Temple (Jacob Latimore), calling himself the security guard for the group but seeming more like a general go-fer helper; we also meet actual security guard Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega) who helps protect a small grocery store at night, works in a factory by day.  In the case of The Dramatics (best known for their later hits “In the Rain,” “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”), their big chance in front of a large audience (at what seems to be a Motown review, following the Supremes' performance) is cut short by the encroaching riots although Larry does a little a cappella number to an empty house before he and Fred try to escape the hostilities by checking in for the night at the annex of the Algiers Motel.  These main characters soon come together at the Algiers as Desmukes’ store is close by, so when confusion from the annex leads to chaos he wanders over (I’m not clear what his intentions were, maybe offering the calming presence of a Black man in a uniform of some authority), encountering a police presence coincidentally led by Krauss.  The escalating crisis begins innocently enough when Carl Cooper (Jason Mitchell), at a party in the annex, tries to explain to a couple of fascinated White girls from Ohio, Julie (Hannah Murray) and Karen (Kaitlyn Dever), what it’s like to be a Black man harassed by a White cop, leading him to fire a race-track-starter’s pistol (no bullets) out the window which the nearby police, state troopers, and National Guard take to be a sniper, with the resulting manhunt consuming much of the rest of this film.  ⇒While some of what happened the night of July 25th isn’t conclusive, we’re shown Krauss shooting Cooper in a quick confrontation as the cops enter the annex, then placing a knife near the bleeding-out-body so he could claim self-defense.⇐

 ⇒Gut-wrenching-scenes follow as Krauss, with fellow officers Flynn (Ben O’Toole) and Demens (Jack Reynor), berates the 11 still-alive-occupants of the building, demanding to know the identity of the “sniper” plus the location of the weapon, information which some of these potential-arrestees know nothing about with the others offering no mention of Cooper (as presented to us, they don’t know he’s dead so we assume those who were with him are trying to protect him).  I won’t go into detail about how Krauss and his helpers (mainly the other cops as the Guardsmen decide to stay out of it, while Dismukes is mainly there as a silent witness) verbally harangue, physically assault, falsely accuse their victims (among other insults, the Ohio girls are wrongly assumed to be whores [Julie’s dress is torn off] with Vietnam War veteran Robert Greene [Anthony Mackie] called their pimp, Krauss showing no respect of any kind to anyone he’s demeaning), culminating in a “game” where someone’s taken into a room for interrogation as a shot's fired into the floor or ceiling to intimidate the rest into thinking he was killed for non-cooperation, although this cruel tactic still produces no answers for Krauss until it goes horribly wrong when Demens is told to take a turn.⇐

 ⇒He’s not aware of the strategy so he actually kills Aubrey Pollard (Nathan Davis Jr.), causing Krauss to wrap up his interrogation, allowing Greene and Reed to escape with promises they’ll say nothing about the incidents of the night.  Temple, however, refuses to make such a promise so Krauss kills him in cold blood.  Later, Demens nervously says he should confess which he soon does, along with Flynn, putting Krauss in a tight spot which he manages to deflect by claiming Fred’s death was caused by Dismukes, an accusation (oddly) later vaguely-confirmed by Julie, so all 4 of them end up tried for various charges of assault and murder.  At the tension-filled-trial truthful testimony about the fateful night comes out but seems to be disregarded by the all-White jury, just as Flynn and Demens’ confessions are thrown out by the judge as inadmissibly-taken under duress so all are freed.  Closing graphics tell us these cops never went back on active duty, Dismukes faced difficulties afterward so he moved to the suburbs, Larry quit the music business to sing in church choirs (a late scene after he recovers from his wounds shows The Dramatics finally getting their Motown contract but he leaves the group, no longer willing to make music largely consumed by a White audience), and there’s no clear evidence who killed whom at the Algiers so we learn some events in this film have been dramatized based on best available understandings.⇐

I'm including some actual historical photos so you can compare them to Bigelow's images.
So What? Bigelow’s well-versed in politically-motivated-war-stories, given her acclaimed work in The Hurt Locker ([2008]; sharing the Oscar for Best Picture with several other producers, winning herself for Best Director, so far the only woman to do so from the famed Motion Picture Academy) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), so it’s no surprise she’s overseen another well-crafted look at this type of conflict, even though her '60s “war” was in the streets of a major American city but still with clear sociopolitical causes and responses.  In those previous hits (at least with critics; The Hurt Locker made just under $50 million globally, the lowest-grossing-Best Picture-winner ever) her characters were either created-representatives of actual soldiers in the field or fictionally-modified as they weren’t intended as full-on-biographies.  In Detroit we find all the activity’s based on real people and actual events although the names of the cops have been changed.  As best I can piece together what I’ve read in various sources (primarily this one) Krauss is actually David Semak, Flynn is Robert Paille (the real killer of Temple [not sure if this victim was involved with The Dramatics or not, as another actual group member, Roderick Davis, was at the Algiers with Larry], claiming self-defense), Demens is Ronald August (admitted killing Pollard, but again in self-defense).  ⇒The only other notable alterations I find in this script are the seeming complete innocence of Dismukes (but not according to testimony at the time, despite his acquittal, with those death threats that compelled him to move coming from the Black Panthers) and the minor change of teenager Hysell’s name from Juli to the script’s Julie.⇐  Beyond that, what’s included vs. what’s left out is a current subject of some bitter debate, despite high marks overall from the critics (Rotten Tomatoes shows 86% positive reviews [of 152], while the usually-more-demanding folks at Metacritic offer a strong 78% score [based on 46 reviews], quite high for them; more details on both in the links far below).

Here's another shot from the actual days of the 1967 riots in Detroit.
Vince Mancini offers quite a diatribe about why none of the characters simply choose to admit to the cops Cooper was the shooter using a harmless starter pistol (which a few of them did testify to, according to John Hersey’s book, The Algiers Motel Incident [1968]); I wondered about this myself but came to the conclusion Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were taking those liberties to emphasize a couple of realities: (1) Not all of the 11 under interrogation (before a couple more of them died) were even aware of Cooper’s virtual-toy-pistol nor that he was already killed, so some couldn’t have said anything about those aspects no matter how cruelly they were beaten, (2) As for the others, these consistent acts of non-response help dramatize how dangerous it must have been to admit anything to these violent cops who might well have continued their abuse in order to find the “weapon” (oddly, it never surfaced) or to force a “confession” from an alive “shooter,” given no testimony was available from Cooper.⇐  A much more scathing denunciation of the film comes from 3 academics, complaining of all the many unincluded-contextual-aspects of this story, from prior existence of Black activism in Detroit to more details on the charges against and trials of the 3 cops and Dismukes*; while I agree the more everyone knows about the full account of this story the better off we’d be for deeper understandings of the hostile complexity that permeates racial-relations in our society, I have to wonder if any of these authors have ever attempted to write a docudrama-screenplay of relatively standard length (although Detroit’s already a bit long at 2 hrs. 23 min.) in which they’d include everything they’d consider relevant to a situation.  Based on what they’re asking for in Detroit we might end up with a multi-hour extravaganza akin to the early days of cinema with the (lost complete footage) spectacles of D.W. Griffith (Intolerance, 1916), Eric von Stroheim (Greed, 1924), or Abel Gance (Napoleon, 1927; review in our March 30, 2012 posting [with some atrocious layout]), all of which had original reported running times of up to 8 hours or longer.

*If you’d like more details on this traumatic time, I’ll refer you to a Wikipedia link, extensive and well-documented enough to hopefully appease skeptics about the informational value of this useful source of data (at least here, where many justified facts are cited), but if you’d prefer something even more specific to the riot’s history here’s a recent, long look back from the Detroit Free Press.

Bottom Line Final Comments: In July 1967 I was working in a cafeteria at the training center for NCR salesmen (Dad was a cash register/computer repairman, transferred a couple of years earlier from Texas to the main factory in Dayton, OH), likely much more interested in listening to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band than watching horrid news reports of violence occurring about 200 miles north of me, nor was it likely I’d have had much conversation about it at home given the sad (for me) fact my parents were already drifting from lifelong-straight-ticket-Democratic-voting into the Nixon “Silent Majority” realm (to stay, except when Southern boys Jimmy Carter and Billy Clinton ran for President).  Nor, if I’m to be honest, was I all that excited about seeing those horrendous days replicated in Detroit, because there’s still such constant coverage in news stories of Black deaths at the hands of White police (and the fallout from the Black Lives Matter movement) that I don’t need intense, dramatic reminders of the racism still infecting our society,* but I went anyway—in a sort of “eat your vegetables” mode (same hesitancy with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, reviewed below, as I felt informed enough already on the disastrous consequences facing this planet from human-driven-climate-change, furious the U.S. government’s now run by a bunch of fossil-fuel-corporation-stooges)—both because it seemed to be the sort of quality-filmmaking I need to stay current on and because, with my past-nonchalance about this vital-yet-destructive-episode in our recent history, I felt I needed to know more about those fateful 5 days 50 years ago.  I didn’t really get all that much of an insight into the specific reasons why Detroit was so ready to explode when it did (an issue in the 2nd complaint I note in the review section just above)—although there’s plenty written or compiled into actual documentaries readily available if I need an immersion in those facts—but what I did get (and I’m sure it’s the intention of the filmmakers, no matter what their objectors offer) is a powerful presentation on how personal hatred, coupled with blind-self-justification, can completely demolish the inner-core of an individual, leading to reprehensible acts of brutality in the misguided name of “serve and protect.”

Here's one more archival shot from the actual events in 1967.
*However, one of my friends/former colleagues from Mills College (Oakland, CA) told me at a recent lunch why he’s not going to see this film, with no ideological concerns involved at all.  Rather, in his case he was a young man living in Detroit at the time, found himself on the street in a crowd one night during the riots when a police car started speeding toward him and others standing nearby.  This turned into a “race” issue not of ethnicity but of fleet-footed-survival as he and 3 other guys ran as fast as they could down an alley with the cops close behind, intent on just running them over, not even attempting any arrest (with no cause for such anyway, except I guess “breathing while Black”).  They barely escaped through a gate into a back yard, continued running until far away from that scene but with no interest on his part to have to relive such a near-death-experience in a movie house.  He also told me had he not been outside at another time during those awful days, entering into a conversation with someone else, his apartment building would have been burned down but was spared because he, his wife, and another Black couple happened to be living there.

 Never have I had to face such imminent fear from officers of the law, finding my existence is so “known” to such wielders of authoritative physical power they can decide whether I should live or die just to make their night more convenient when they fill out a “perp report.”  Never have I been forced to face a wall, constantly insulted, hit with heavy weapons while I stood there defenseless, felt constant terror that the next victim of their brutality may be me just because they don’t like my posture or my responses or my face.  Never had I been put into a state of growing panic with the assumption my fellow detainees had been shot just because they didn’t provide the info these brutes were demanding.  Maybe this aspect of the film does go on too long, could have been condensed so other events demanded by the academic critics noted above could have been included, but what I needed—as an almost-70-year-old, straight, White, able-bodied (relative to my age on that last part) male who’s had to work hard for whatever I’ve accomplished in life so far but have never been denied opportunity because of my gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical attributes—was the extensive lesson in human degradation being dished out to innocent people so explicitly depicted in Bigelow’s film.  It’s brutal to watch but needs to be seen (although that’s not happening too much, with only about $7.6 million in domestic [U.S.-Canada] receipts after 2 weeks in release, but the theater count has drastically increased from 20 to 3,007 so that might change*).

*Variety offers 3 reasons for this unanticipated slow start: bleak subject matter at a time when there’s plenty of that on the nightly news so there's little incentive to seek out such content; a release-date choice intended to honor the 50th anniversary of this overall event that runs counter to the normal summer menu of fantasy blockbusters, fast-paced action-adventures, and naughty comedies; complaints from some quarters that a White filmmaking team shouldn’t be telling this story (to which I reply, at least they were able to get it financed, brought to screen, a needed result).

 I’ll being these comments to closure with my usual-ending-tactic of using a Musical Metaphor for one last perspective, although from the viewpoint of another artform.  While the reality for the Black characters in this film (and their conceptual descendants in so damn many contemporary news stories about White police brutality) could easily be The Dramatics’ “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” instead I’ll go with War’s “The World Is A Ghetto” (from the 1972 album of the same name; noted by Billboard as 1973’s best-selling Album of the Year) at cert_Ra8 (this link also has the lyrics, but if you’d like a live version here's one, from Motown Live in February 2000 with Macy Gray joining in), as its lyrics about “Searchin’ for the place, weary-eyed Crying in the night, teary-eyed Don’t you know that it’s true That for me and for you The world is a ghetto Wonder when I’ll find paradise Somewhere there’s a home sweet and nice Wonder if I’ll find happiness” speak directly to the situation for those who endure, then survive the riots in Detroit with the hard-to-embrace-but-undercurrent-message for those who see aspects of this history still being acted out in streets across the U.S., “Never give it up now […] There’s no need to search anywhere Happiness is here, have your share If you know you’re loved, be secure Paradise is love to be sure,” although current events could make us think it’ll take forever for love to truly conquer hate and fear.
SHORT TAKES (spoilers also appear here)
              An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power 
              (Bonnie Cohen, Jon Shenk) 
This documentary is the long-awaited follow-up (by some, not all) to An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore’s well-known plea calling for decreasing human involvement in catastrophic global climate change (a better term than “global warming,” which allows rhetorical—although incorrect—dismissals during winter storms), still a tough sell in economies driven by oil and coal.
Here’s the trailer: 

 Despite being moved by the images of increasing human tragedy shown in this documentary (the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth [Davis Guggenheim, 2006]) I hesitated to even write about it (even offering no notable spoilers) because I assume the responses have already been largely determined without many people even seeing the film (and they haven’t; after 2 weeks in release it’s playing in only 180 domestic theaters, grossing a paltry $1.1 million so far; critical consensus is better, 76% positive at R.T. 67% score at MC, with more details in the links below), probably spanning a spectrum something like this: “My God!  This is atrocious!  We’ve got to work nonstop right now to stop this tragedy!” with the rejoinder of “Don’t listen to that snowflake b.s.!  There’s nothing unusual with our weather so just calm down and keep investing in oil companies if you want to make some solid cash”; or, “You know, he’s making a lot of good points here. We need to contact our Congressman,” with the rejoinder of “Well, I sure won’t buy any beachfront property in Florida, but it can’t be as bad as he says it’s going to be”; or “Maybe he’s right. Did you hear about all those storms in Texas and Oklahoma a couple of days ago?” with the rejoinder, “I guess all those icebergs melting’ll wash away some hippies in San Francisco but we should be safe here in Wyoming.”  However, for the benefit of those of you who’d like to actually see what the content of this clarion call to environmental action’s all about I think you’ll find plenty of facts* to help convince you Al Gore’s not just running around shouting “The sky is falling!” but instead is genuinely convinced of 2 things: (1) Climate change is realon a course to make our planet uninhabitableneedlessly exacerbated by human action; (2) We can make lasting changes for the better, with a good many investments in renewable energy already paying off economically as well as conceptually for us all.

*But not enough for some of his critics, including from his own progressive wing of society such as Rachel Krantz of EcoWatch who complains this doc doesn’t specifically enumerate actions that viewers can take to address climate change in their own neighborhoods, particularly switching to a plant-based diet to counter all of the CO2 emitted into our atmosphere by the livestock industries (she notes Gore himself went vegan [I admit I'm not] in 2014 but makes no mention of it in the film).

 Essentially, this doc is Al Gore’s latest honest public project doing what news footage shows him testifying about to a 2007 Senate committee, saying to a skeptical Senator (he's formerly one of those also) he’s just trying to find a way “to tell you why I feel so strongly about this.”  In an attempt to do that with vignettes showing since 2000 Earth has suffered 14 of the 15 hottest years on record (2016 being the worst); 2013 flooding in Miami (the #1 U.S. city at risk from rising ocean levels caused by melting icebergs); a killer typhoon in the Philippines (also 2013) which, like many recent ocean-spawned-storms, was more destructive than past ones because it picked up intense power from warmer-than-usual-oceans; yet, just the opposite has occurred around the globe with severe droughts killing off agricultural lands, forcing millions to move to cities or other countries already overcrowded with refugees; an explanation about warmer climates spreading tropical diseases far and wide; then the claim properly-harnessed-wind-power could provide all the energy our entire planet needs.  In response to this, we see a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiations about the 2015 Paris Climate Accords (which bravely continued despite the awful terrorist attacks in that European metropolis just a couple of weeks before these talks began), resulting in victory when all the nations involved (195) came to agreements about reducing the carbon assault on our environment before this century’s out.  We even get a local sense of the hoped-for-sea-change occurring when Gore visits Georgetown (a bit north of Austin) where Republican mayor Dale Ross (of what he calls the “reddest city in the reddest county in Texas”) explains to Gore how this locality shifted to 100% renewable energy because it was the “common sense”—not the politically-correct—thing to do.

 Of course, the situation’s not as idyllic as the most positive aspects of this film would have you hoping they might be, so there’s a brief acknowledgement about President Trump deciding to withdraw the U.S. from participation in those Paris agreements, but the planned final polishing and release of … Truth to Power suffers from the “inconveniently” bad timing of not being able to address the climate-change-denying-attitudes of the current Administration in better detail (those images of Trump scoffing about global warming in the trailer aren’t even included in the film), countered by Gore’s comments about his faith in world leaders and the U.S. population as a whole to support the concept behind an optimistic quote from poet Wallace Stevens: “After the final no there comes a yes And on that yes the future world depends.”  However, that needed “yes” won’t likely come about as a result of An Inconvenient Sequel ..., with its current tepid audience response, possibly because people have already taken their stances—not feeling the need to gather more information pro or con from this film—possibly because they may not care for Nobel Peace Prize-winning-Gore even when he’s being charmingly-folksy (with the most legitimate knock on … Truth to Power being, in my opinion, it celebrates Gore as a solitary crusader [we’re left with the impression he single-handedly saved the Paris talks by convincing India to finally join in] rather than showing more of the others he must be collaborating with in this vital, science-based-campaign).

 Speaking of campaigns Gore says he's a “recovering politician” with no intentions of running for office again, yet we still get footage from the 2000 Presidential vote debacle reminding us he lost to G.W. Bush by the total of 1 vote in the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to stop recounting ballots in Florida (an inclusion adding little for me in the overall context of this documentary's content), possibly because even something as fundamental as controlling climate change for the preservation of our planet veers too easily into clashes over political ideologies (Gore’s adamant [and I agree wholeheartedly with him] we “need to fix the country’s democracy crisis” of billionaire and corporate money controlling our election and governance processes), so it may only feel safe to see and discuss An Inconvenient Sequel … with those already within our safety-bubbles of agreement.

 Yet, I still admire Al Gore for working with these filmmakers to give us an effective-enough-contrast in even the first 5 min. of this 98 min. doc (though that’s a bit stretched for the content delivered here, which might have worked better as a 1-hr. TV special) to keep us thinking, even if we tune out (or assume we already know) most of what comes after.  While the soundtrack at that point gives us actual voices of Gore’s critics, offering variations on the sorts of rejoinders I noted above, the images are of icebergs dripping as they melt, showing the reality our world’s climate transforming every second whether we ignore it or not, producing a steady-change-accumulation likely to overwhelm us if we don’t act more purposefully to halt a once-in-a-planet’s-lifetime-evolution into a state we can’t fix.  For my Musical Metaphor to all this, I offer you Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” (on her 1970 Ladies of the Canyon album) but the version I’ve chosen’s from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (on their 1970 Déjà Vu album and the 1970 Woodstock soundtrack) at https://www. (with footage from the Woodstock [Michael Wadleigh, 1970 {wrong date on this video clip}] doc*), because the CSNY approach’s more aggressive, as our involvement with this critical issue needs to be (the film’s final, pre-credits graphics encourage our involvement on a local level, just as Gore’s seen throughout … Truth to Power leading workshops of climate-change-awareness-advocates for their home communities, helping with planetary healing).

 *This clip from that famous music-festival-documentary also contains the brief CSNY tune, “Find the Cost of Freedom” (from their 1971 4 Way Street album, but if you’d like to hear a longer, more soulful version go here), with its haunting chorus—also useful as a Metaphor in the content of An Inconvenient Sequel ’s ultimate warning—“Mother Earth will swallow you, lay your body down.”

 I can only hope—from this film, from the many resources it draws upon, from anyone else any of us will listen to about the fundamental need to adopt measures to help preserve Earth—we’ll better acknowledge our interdependence with this universe we live in (“We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”), reassessing our priorities in manners I don’t see much of from the "fossilized" Trump government (“And I dreamed I saw the bomber jet planes riding shotgun in the sky, Turning into butterflies above our nation”).
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Here’s more information about Detroit: (short video [7:46] on the actual riots in Detroit, July 1967) and (even shorter [4:05] on numbers of deaths, injuries, police and troops, arrested, homes and businesses destroyed, financial losses) or, if you’ve got more time, want to see more actual imagery from the event to compare to Bigelow’s film, and don’t mind watching what seems to be largely raw footage here’s com/watch?v=PlQRfIzI4FA (52:06 video—where the audio doesn’t begin until 2:56 then cuts in and out a bit, stabilizes for awhile at about 3:57 [although volume levels are inconsistent throughout]—with some statements by Governor George Romney; no sound 8:34-11:19, footage of arrests, buildings and cars on fire, injured people at a hospital; sound on again 11:20—14:15, aerial and street-level footage of burned-out buildings, no sound 14:16-16:19; sound on again 16:20-25:38, Romney calling in federal help, officials and troops arrive, interviews with locals hoping for an end to the violence, some cleanup, confident interview with military officer; no sound 25:39-27:19, night street footage; 27-20-end of video, sound on again, damaged buildings, testimony from locals [some injured], Romney on emergency-driven shortages and profiteering, military officer on logistical difficulties, night footage of empty streets, interviews with soldiers, blood bank, children, food brought in, Romney on asking for Detroit to be declared a “natural disaster” for the purpose of federal aid, request accepted by President Johnson, after-the-fact statements and footage including Romney again)

Here’s more information about An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power: (14:13 CBC video on increasing climate change, rise of renewable energy sources, interview with Al Gore about the contents of this documentary, his current optimism despite the anti-environmentalism-policies of Donald Trump, his thoughts on current policies in Canada, how he’s dealt with adversity)

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