Kathryn Bigelow’s John Boyega-Starring Film About the 1967 Detroit Riot Gets a Trailer


Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s latest collaborative revisitation of harrowing history — following their chilling depictions of American interventions in the Middle East in The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty — comes in the form of Detroit, whose first trailer was released this week. The film traces the events of the 1967 riots in the eponymous city.

The pair had previously been working on a film about Bowe Bergdahl, but decided to push that project back to make Detroit. The riots stemmed from the police raid of an unlicensed bar; the police had arrested all 82 people present at the speak easy. They were all black people, who were reportedly celebrating the return of two soldiers from Vietnam. After the riots broke out, and lasted five days, the systemic racism only manifested in larger extremes. George W. Romney, the Governor of Michigan, had his state’s National Guard storm the city to break up the riot, while Lyndon B. Johnson simultaneously sent in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions; there were 43 deaths in the riots — mostly of black people.

From the trailer, the film itself looks to particularly focus on the story of the Algiers Motel Incident — wherein, after police/state troopers/national guard/private guards entered the motel after allegedly hearing shots, the authorities interrogated unarmed guests in the motel for hours; ultimately, they killed three black men (Fred Temple, Carl Cooper, and Aubrey Pollard), while two white women and seven more black men were brutalized by forces of “law and order.” The killings were documented in John Hersey’s 1968 book, The Algiers Motel Incident.

John Boyega announced he’d be starring in the film last June. It also stars Anthony Mackie, John Krasinski, Jacob Latimore, Miguel Pimentel (aka, the musician Miguel), Will Poulter, and Hannah Murray.

Watch the trailer:

Here’s the poster:

[h/t Quartz]