Tuesday, June 18, 2024

‘Detroit’ — History On Repeat?

September 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Extra

Capucine Holmes



History, it has been said, usually repeats itself. Today, we hold out hope that America can avoid fulfilling that axiom — especially when it comes to the kind of prejudice and hatred that leads to death.

We can consider that history anew when it is explored in art. The new film “Detroit,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, looks at four deadly, racially-charged days that shook that great American city in July 1967. It covers the 12th Street Riot, a series of horrific events took place at the Algiers Motel and involved three young black men — Carl Cooper, Fred Temple, and Aubrey Pollard — who were beaten, tortured and killed. Three white Detroit Police officers — Robert Paille, David Senak and Ronald August — faced charges, along with a black security guard named Melvin Dismukes.

The movie was screened in Las Vegas on the 50th anniversary of the Algiers Motel incident. While there, people who relocated to Las Vegas from Detroit recalled the riot and reflected on how it impacted their lives.

Native Detroiter Alex Thomas said he knew the young men at the center of the tragedy — and would have been at the Algiers that night if his parents hadn’t been so adamant about him making curfew. All in all, “Detroit” is an impactful film that leaves you wondering whether humanity has evolved from prejudice, hatred and racism — and whether history will indeed repeat itself.

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