Time Out says
An in-depth doc about the riots that swept Los Angeles in the summer of 1992
It’s 25 years since the greatest civil disturbance in the history of modern America: the Los Angeles riots, which were prompted by the acquittal of four LAPD officers who had been filmed beating LA resident Rodney King in March 1991. This immersive doc is made up entirely of archive footage, occasional explanatory text and a plaintive score, and it works hard to give a sense of what it must have been like to have been on the ground and in the middle of the uprising at the time.
It’s bookended with footage from the 1965 Watts riots, making the point that racial tension was entrenched and history was repeating itself, only more loudly – although might it have been more powerful and pertinent to look forward rather than back for comparisons and evidence of continuing unease?
That said, the footage of those few days in late April and early May 1992, when violence, looting and arson spread across many areas of the city, remains fascinating: there’s a strong sense of anarchy, desperation and not knowing where it would end. You’d have to look elsewhere – perhaps to Ava DuVernay’s ‘13th’ or Ezra Edelman’s ‘OJ: Made in America’ – for deeper insight and context, but this is a valuable companion piece to other accounts and a vivid collage of in-the-moment imagery.