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It's time we knew 

Year: 2017 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow 
Starring: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith  
An image from Detroit

Kathryn Bigelow’s unbiased passion for truth and the history of violence drives her visceral retelling of the Algiers Motel incident that defined the brutality of the 1967 Detroit Riots. The horrific account of the Algiers shooting intertwines with the life story of Larry Reed, the ex-lead singer of Motown’s The Dramatics.

What unfolded inside the Algiers Motel is a shocking and uncomfortable tale of police brutality that is as relevant in America’s political and racial climate today as it was 50 years ago. Bigelow’s unflinching and carefully directed depiction is a masterclass in historical storytelling, allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions as events unfold. As the only woman to have won an Academy Award for Outstanding Directing, Bigelow is no stranger to weighted odds and hardships, but her direction in Detroit is like all great storytelling; it says little about the storyteller, but everything about their skill. Bigelow presents an engrossing and unbiased portrayal of events that speaks of the directorial talent she displayed in both The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.

The intensity of the incident is maintained throughout, with stand-out performances from Will Poulter (The Maze Runner), John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Algee Smith as singer Larry Reed. Detroit is not just a movie about historical events, it’s a movie with a statement that is just as, if not more, relevant today. It’s not just a masterclass in filmmaking, but also a lesson in learning from the past.

Tiff Milner

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Screenings of this film:

2017/2018 Autumn Term (digital)
2017/2018 Autumn Term (digital)