'Detroit' Film Review: God's House the Only Safe Place After Tragic Injustice
Kathryn Bigelow's new film "Detroit" hits theaters Friday and along with highlighting a tragic incident in history during the Detroit '67 race riots, the timely film's lead character — Larry Reed — leaves viewers with the notion that safety in times of injustice and unrest can only be found in the house of God.
The Christian Post attended an early screening of "Detroit" this week and with shaky camera tricks and intense content, the film will take viewers on a journey of a specific evening during the 1967 race riots which ended in the deaths of multiple innocent African-American males at The Algiers Hotel, by the hands of the Detroit police.
With an impressive cast of which many are professing Christians, "Detroit" features many next generation talent such as John Boyega ("Star Wars"), Will Poulter ("The Revenant"), Jason Mitchell ("Straight Outta Compton"), Anthony Mackie ("Hurt Locker"), Jacob Latimore ("Collateral Beauty") and John Krasinski ("The Office").
Although loaded with profanity and a scene which features slight nudity, the true story makes an impactful impression because of its relevance to this time and day.
The plot follows the police raid in Detroit in 1967 which results in a multi-day riot. "The story is centered on the Algiers Motel incident, which occurred on July 25, 1967, during the racially charged 12th Street Riot. It involves the death of three black men and the beatings of nine other people: seven black men and two white women."
Without going into too much detail, "Detroit" will take the viewers on a cinematic ride of what it was like to live in the shoes of a black man during those race riots. A powerful description illustrated in the film compared being black in America to living as if a loaded gun was pointed at your face at all times.
As the movie goes on and the traumatizing "death game" at the Algiers Motel commences, Detroit and Michigan police along with the Army National Guard hold 12 young people hostage.
Perhaps the most moving scene of the film is when those captive begin to cry out in prayer. Some plead the blood of Jesus, others ask for God to soften the hearts of the police and reveal truth and Larry Reed, an aspiring singer and one of the young men held at gunpoint, gets on his knees and sings a worship song. There was not a dry eye at the screening.
Unfortunately, as history and the movie shows, three teenagers were killed that day, no weapons were found and after the case goes to trial against the three officers and one private security guard present, all were found not guilty. One death has never been explained and the other two deaths were attributed to "justifiable homicide" or "self-defense."
Despite the heartbreak of no justice, "Detroit" concludes in the house of God as one of the main characters, Reed, decides to hang up his dreams of becoming a singing superstar and instead lends his talent to the church because it's the "only place" he now feels safe.
"Detroit" paralleled the feelings of many Americans now, after the unlawful killings of Pilando Castile, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and others. While leaving the theater, it was evident that many people, both white and black were moved and most of them stated that the movie could have been about the times now.
One may never know exactly what will change the tide of racism and injustice throughout the world, besides turning to God as the film implies. But "Detroit" will make sure everyone remembers the violence and cruelty that can come of racism and inequality.