The backdrop is 1967. The city is under watch by the National Guard, there is a curfew; meanwhile at the Algiers Motel three young black men are murdered. The city is Detroit and it is on fire. Bullets fly amidst lies in a frame by frame escalation of Armageddon-like violence like the city has never seen before.
Set backstage before a live performance, a rising young group (Dramatics) waiting for their moment to perform, never get their chance. Dodging chaotic happenings, lead singer Larry (Algee Smith) finds himself at the Algiers Motel—where there will be a standoff, sweating out the night—with a live-wire (Jason Mitchell, cop-luring), two terrified white women from Ohio, a cautious black security guard (John Boyega) and a cop who is consumed with rage (Will Poulter). It only goes down hill from this point. Set ups, revenge, lies, murders, destruction of property–Detroit is a warzone and burns with the evils of men. One is reminded of current cover-ups and betrayals in America still today- among injustice.
The director of Oscar winning The Hurt Locker and also Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow, brings Detroit to life. Bigelow has become the most accomplished director of war movies in America. Bigelow has made a relevant and spellbinding drama set in the heat of the violence in Detroit in 1967. Mark Boal’s research of actual events brings the screenplay to real life lived in the history of the famous city where in one notorious moment, life was changed forever. The aftermath’s blood still stains. Bigelow could only scratch the surface but the surface will torch your minds and hearts with the truths of deception. In theatres August 4.
Photos courtesy of Annapurna pictures