Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s newest film “Detroit” puts moviegoers smack in the middle of the 1967 riots in the city 50 years ago. It centers on the Algiers Motel, where three young black men were found slain during the uprising.
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Film critic Peter Travers, who is host of ABC News’ “Popcorn With Peter Travers,” talked to Bigelow about the making of the film. He asked why she felt compelled to tell this story on the big screen.
“It was pitched to me right about the time that the decision not to indict the officer in the Michael Brown shooting happened,” Bigelow said. “I think that was fairly emotional for a lot of people and frustrating, confusing, and I found this story deeply moving. And the opportunity to humanize what was unthinkable was a great opportunity.”
- Kathryn Bigelow talks Detroit
Bigelow added, “If this could perhaps start a bit of a conversation toward bridging a racial divide in this country, even just be a small part of that conversation, it was worth it. And I felt like to do nothing was not an option.”
Travers noted that even though the film hones in on racial tensions from 1967, many of the same issues are still relevant today. Bigelow said she started working on the film during the Obama presidency.
“Perhaps naively I thought we were in a post-race world at that point. And of course that was not the case,” Bigelow, 65, told Travers. “Race is sort of the third rail of this country. You look at South Africa where there’s meaningful active conversations about truth and reconciliation. And you look at this country and it’s absolutely quiet.”
“The film does generate a conversation,” Bigelow said. “Without conversation, nothing will happen.”
“Detroit” is in theaters everywhere.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Kathryn Bigelow in the video above.