At "Detroit" premiere, stars and director say story is timely

Posted on: July 27th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Photo: Eric Charbonneau(DETROIT) — Detroit, Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama set in the racially charged 1967 Detroit clash between police and black residents, opens in limited release this weekend — with wide release coming next week. 

For all involved, including Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, the movie is not just about a 50 year old event but its connection to racial tensions today.

“Its topicality and timeliness made it an imperative to tell this story, to me,” Bigelow said at a premiere event in Detroit this week.

One of the movie’s stars, Avengers actor Anthony Mackie, said he hopes the movie will be instructive. “I think largely what happened in Detroit 50 years ago is forgotten,” he said. “So I hope that people go see this movie and remember where we were, see where we are and from this point do something different.”

Bigelow hopes the movie will even be healing, helping people see one another from the other’s perspective. “Our culture is very divided, and I think we need to find an opportunity, or many opportunities, to build a bridge,” she said.

The movie focuses on a single episode during the riots — sparked by a police raid on an unlicensed club led to four days of rioting and looting with President Lyndon Johnson calling in troops, leaving 43 dead and the city in flames. So, it tries to mix a dramatic story with the history. 

For star John Boyega, of Star Wars fame, it works. “The great thing about movies [is] we are able to dramatize and go into depth about [a] situation on an emotional level as well as factual,” he said. “Detroit rides a good balance, and now’s the time for us to have these conversations.”

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