Detroit is not my favorite city, but my great grandfather lived there, Motown Record’s great musical legacy was birthed there, and there's a sense of pride for the city. So, when I was invited to preview the movie, “Detroit” I was interested, but had no idea what to expect and went to experience some history about The Motor City.
While I was expecting a truthful retelling of the 1967 Detroit riots, director Kathryn Bigelow's vantage point put me smack dab on the streets of The D. "Detroit" is based on true events that culminate in the Algiers Motel after the police descend on the property to investigate what is thought to be a sniper's gun shot.
With an amazing ensemble cast, "Detroit" is one of the most poignant films I've experienced this year. From the innocent party goer, looming looter, purposeful guardsman, to the crocked cop, you come face to face with varying and honest points of view portrayed by each character, and it ain't nothing nice.
Posted up in the Algiers are a variety of guests; a group of friends that include Carl played by Jason Mitchell, with so much swag, "Straight Out Of Compton" Lee played by Peyton 'Alex' Smith (The Quad), an aspiring singer Larry portrayed by Algee Smith, (The New Edition Story) and his best-friend and manager, Fred played by Jacob Lattimore (Collateral Beauty) Two young ladies, Julie (Hannah Murray of "Game Of Thrones") and Karen (Kaitlyn Dever of "Last Man Standing") are at the hotel as well. This diverse group’s common goal was shelter from the riots, but one shot brought the activities of the street directly to them and when the police arrive the confusion of the night spirals out of control.
"Detroit" is a must-see movie. It brings past events to the present and shows that the past may have never ended and the foundation of America's justice system is cracked and requires some re-cementing. "Detroit" is a necessary, but difficult movie to watch. I actually walked out of the screening for a break. The depiction brought me face to face with what Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and several others may have encountered and pissed me off. Then I went back in because there's more to do than be mad, there's a responsibility to uplift Black men, my community and country. So, like the city of Detroit I stand with a determination to rise from the ashes and stand strong. Definitely go see Detroit.