The Detroit uprising in the summer of 1967 made up one of the largest acts of civil unrest in the country’s history, and is the subject of Kathryn Bigelow’s latest drama. Starring John Boyega, Detroit recounts the events of that five-day stretch in July, including the police raid on a bar that sparked huge demonstrations by the city’s black ciitzens,Governor George W. Romney called in the National Guard, while President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in two Air Force divisions. When it was all over, 43 people were dead and over a thousand injured.
Bigelow’s promised that her film will explore the systemic issues and institutional racism that led to the uprising, as well as zero in on the smaller stories that unfolded. This first trailer is mostly a flurry of military action and private protests, with Boyega’s security guard character trying to tamp down an already lit fuse. But the tone is right, and Boyega’s delivering a disarming yet conflicted performance.
Detroit opens August 4.