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While Bigelow and Boal’s Detroit contains many black people, it lacks a black community. Apart from a scene of the singing group Dramatics waiting to go on stage, we don’t see people having fun or with their families or really any aspect of black life in the city. The movie opens in an illegal after-hours bar but provides no context about it. That night people had gathered to celebrate the safe return of two men from Vietnam ― but the sense of joy and revelry is left out.

And in an act of resistance, when cops raided the bar at 4:00 am, patrons refused to disperse. This was a political act. Because many Detroit entertainment venues and restaurants during this time barred black people and black business owners had difficulty securing capital and acquiring permits for an official establishment, many working class black people socialized in these venues. Police regularly raided them ― and these raids had been a chief source of frustration before the uprising. July 23rd was the third time this establishment was raided in less than two years. People had reached their breaking point. But the movie doesn’t offer any of this. It is not long before we see a couple of black kids stealing a bicycle and then one throws a Molotov cocktail. Bigelow’s Detroiters are angry, alienated, unthinking and apolitical. The film cuts straight to mayhem and violence.

full: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5988570be4b0f2c7d93f5744/
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