With “DETROIT” Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s new turn at making another hard-hitting film, just doesn’t connect completely. Though again, Bigelow takes on delicate subject matter with the expertise of a great filmmaker, and it is a very good film – for about 60 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour run time. ‘Detroit’ takes place in 1967 during the midst of the riots after a black owned Blind Pig bar where patrons were kicked out due to lack of liquor license and eventually leads to the towns people rioting and destroying the nearby businesses, even with tags of “Soul Brother” as a way to try to protect their black owned business.
Kathryn Bigelow is a woman of action. The director, who turns 68 on Nov. 27, is known for training her eye on vampires, cops, surfing bank robbers, and especially soldiers—but she’s not merely after an adrenaline rush. Rather, the first—and still only—woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director with 2008’s "The Hurt Locker" is drawn to the circumstances surrounding violence, as well as characters’ choices. “I don’t like violence. I am very interested, however, in truth. And violence is a fact of our lives, a part of the social context in which we live,” she’s said.
There’s a scene in the fantastic 1984-set film “Pride” where a young gay man – keeping his sexuality a secret film his suburban London family – sits watching the TV with his boorish brother-in-law. On the telly is a government message about AIDS. “Arse Injected Death Sentence” guffaws the idiot, referencing the homophobic myth that AIDS was a gay problem (even if the LGBTQ+ community was hit devastatingly hard by the disease in the 80s). As “Pride” illustrates, the epidemic saw those diagnosed with the disease ostracised from much of society. Cinema of the 80s and 90s tackled the issue both directly, with films such as “Philadelphia”, “Kids”, and “An Early Frost”, as well as indirectly, with movies like “Return Of the Living Dead”, “The Fly”, and vampire neo-Western “Near Dark”.