Another epic of injustice by Kathryn Bigelow Discuss this article

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Over her last three features – The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty and now Detroit – Kathryn Bigelow has become America’s most accomplished director of war movies. They’re not the glacially styled, ultra-heroic combat epics that make grown men cry (though Bigelow has won her share of awards) but films about the way we fight right now.

Detroit is set in the late 1960s, primarily during the racially fraught riots that tore the city apart on a televised stage in the summer of ’67. But to watch Bigelow’s expertly calibrated chaos during the riots’ escalation is to witness something depressingly familiar to anyone who has seen the videos of today’s police brutality.

Larry (Algee Smith) finds himself at the Algiers Motel with a cop-baiting provocateur (Jason Mitchell, a live wire), two scared white women from Ohio, a wary black security guard (John Boyega in a turn of Denzel-like dignity) and, terrifyingly, a loose cannon from Detroit’s police force
(Will Poulter, burning with rage).

The standoff has entered legend (if not widely known history) as a notorious incident of interrogatory injustice. Bigelow makes it her centrepiece and has crafted her most harrowing piece of film-making. The blood may have got washed away, but the guilt is still there.

The bottom line
Another epic of injustice by Kathryn Bigelow.

By Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 143
  • Released: Sun, 26 Nov
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Stars: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith

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