Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022
123
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

‘Riotsville USA’ director Sierra Pettengill explores response to ’60s era civil unrest

Filmmaker Sierra Pettengill says the first time she watched the U.S. Army training films at the heart of her new documentary “Riotsville, USA,” the grainy images were as stunning as the meaning they carried.

“I had this real whiplash, which I also think made its way into the tone of the film,” Pettengill says of her first viewing of this little-before-seen footage from the late ’60s. “Between the absurdity and the ridiculousness and how stupid a lot of it looks — then you’re kind of instantly whiplashed to true chilling violence.

“That state of toggling between those two,” she says. “That was my first reaction.”

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. Seen here are stills from a U.S. Army training film made in the late ’60s to demonstrate military-style techniques for breaking up demonstrations. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. Seen here are stills from a U.S. Army training film made in the late ’60s to demonstrate military-style techniques for breaking up demonstrations. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. Seen here are stills from a U.S. Army training film made in the late ’60s to demonstrate military-style techniques for breaking up demonstrations. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. Seen here are stills from a U.S. Army training film made in the late ’60s to demonstrate military-style techniques for breaking up demonstrations. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

  • Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

    Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

of

Expand

“Riotsville USA,” which is in limited theatrical release, is a look back at the past that has unmistakable parallels to the present.

Its title comes from the name the Army gave to mock towns, which were built on military bases, where soldiers played the roles of both rioters and responders for an audience of military and law enforcement brass. The aim was to show how the Army thought local law enforcement might respond to civil unrest.

More broadly viewed, it’s a film that argues that the causes of civil unrest were widely known at the time — poverty, racism, inequality, among them — but leaders chose to focus on the militarization of law enforcement responses rather than addressing the root causes.

On the surface, these scenes of mock rioting are almost silly, Pettengill says.

“You know, you’re watching these soldiers in wigs and signs that say ‘Arrest Santa Claus’ or whatever,’” she says. “And then there’s a Black protestor, an actor, getting really violently shoved into the back of a tank while screaming his face off, and I was suddenly stopped in my tracks, seeing people with extreme amounts of power sitting in bleachers, laughing at that.

“I do really feel like that mixture of absurdism and deep, chilling, inhumane violence does feel like the country I know,” Pettengill says. “It’s so divorced from reality, and then the violence is always just right there, coming back to remind you that this is the real world.”

Missed opportunities

To understand the roots of “Riotsville, USA,” it helps to recall the history of civil unrest in the United States in the ’60s. The Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1965 were followed by similar urban uprisings in Chicago, Newark, and Detroit.

The last of those prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to appoint a commission to investigate the causes and recommend solutions. When the Kerner Commission issued its report in 1968, it largely concluded that the riots were a result of Black and Latino frustration at the lack of economic opportunities as well as inadequate public resources such as housing, education, and social services.

The report was widely known. Bantam Books published it as a mass-market paperback that sold 2 million copies.

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal,” the report said in one of its best-known conclusions. “What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”

Pettengill, whose previous films such as “The Reagan Show” and “Town Hall” have focused on similarly political topics, knew much of this. But the existence of Riotsville was a surprise when she encountered it in the pages of Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland” biography of President Richard M. Nixon.

“The way that Rick contextualizes Riotsville really did make its way into the larger point of the film,” Pettengill says. “He introduces it after speaking about the Hughes Commission, which is another of these post-riot commissions, this one in Newark.”

Pettengill says the Hughes panel came to the conclusion that the country could either choose reality by addressing the root causes — or  choose illusion. The latter meant responding to unrest with force instead of trying to solve its causes.

“Rick says the public chose illusion, and then kind of goes through a list of extreme programs that were implemented after the summer of ’67 in the vein of illusion. And Riotsville was one of them.”

Few of the Kerner Commission recommendations were ever adopted by Congress and Johnson, the film makes clear. The exception being a dramatic increase in the provision of federal funding and surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies around the country.

A view from the other side

With “Riotsville, USA,” Pettengill explains how she made the film entirely from obscure military film footage or now forgotten TV newscasts from the era.

“I appreciate when films uncover covert histories but I also think that gives us a little bit of plausible deniability,” she says. “To be able to say, ‘We couldn’t have known, we didn’t know.’

“It was crucial to me that Riotsville was not a secret. It was covered by the news at the time. Some of the footage in the film is from ABC. The Kerner Commission report was a best-seller.

“So making a film from material that wasn’t a secret would allow for the question of why have we forgotten this? Why didn’t we know it? What is the process of wiping out narratives like this?’”

“Riotsville, USA” also turns away from the familiar footage of Watts and Chicago and Detroit. Pettengill says to force viewers to consider those familiar images in different ways.

“That footage, it’s overexposed, and it’s been traditionally used to sort of justify violence against Black communities, and perpetuate a set of very damaging stereotypes about violence within those communities,” Pettengill says.

“We come to it with a certain set of ways of looking at it,” she says. By avoiding those kinds of images, she hoped to “make people actually look at what’s in front of them.”

Near the end of the film, “Riotsville, USA” finally shows civil unrest in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami as the Republican National Convention was nominating Nixon as its 1968 presidential candidate.

“You’ve been watching the building of a state apparatus and watching training over and over,” Pettengill says of that decision. “When you arrive at that moment in Liberty City, you are actually actively watching because you’re looking for what you’ve watched borne out in the Riotsville trainings on the street.”

Answers are known

It’s a mistake to say the protests and policing depicted in “Riotsville, USA” are the mirrors of more modern-day conversations about police violence against minorities and public demonstrations for racial and economic justice, Pettengill says.

But they’re not entirely disconnected either, she says. The causes and solutions have been known for decades by now, too.

“The sort of extremity of the problem is treated kind of like, ‘Well, hold on, we just got to start discussing that; these are new ideas,’” Pettengill says of the way calls for reform are often greeted today.

“To see in the footage in 1967, panels from (Black leaders such as) Bayard Rustin, Kenneth Clark, Charles Hamilton — they are already weary of repeating themselves. There’s an exhaustion that pervades the film.”

For leaders and residents of underprivileged and overpoliced communities to have to keep repeating the problems and their causes is depressing, Pettengill says.

“But also I think it’s very empowering that there is a precedent,” she says. “There is no sort of room for argument that these are new ideas.

“It’s not a failure of imagination. It’s a failure of political will. And I think there’s a lot of room for action in there that I find really inspiring.”









Read also

I found a dupe of a posh Whistles dress in a supermarket – it’s so similar but £80 cheaper

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng scrap abolishing 45p tax rate after brutal Tory backlash saying ‘we have listened’

An $82 million mansion that's still under construction broke Dubai's real-estate record, and its design includes 18 bathrooms and a garage for 15 cars


News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

BMW M4 CSL v Porsche 911 GT3: DRAG RACE

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


News Every Day

BMW M4 CSL v Porsche 911 GT3: DRAG RACE



Sports today


Новости тенниса
Алексей Смирнов

Жениться было нельзя, а в усыновлении отказали: как война перемолола жизнь любимца публики Алексея Смирнова



Спорт в России и мире
Москва

РОСГВАРДЕЙЦЫ ОБЕСПЕЧИЛИ ПРАВОПОРЯДОК НА ФУТБОЛЬНОМ МАТЧЕ В МОСКВЕ


Загрузка...

All sports news today




Загрузка...

Sports in Russia today

Москва

Промес признан лучшим игроком матча «Пари НН» — «Спартак»


Новости России

Game News

Hyenas could have real potential if it wasn't knee-deep in metacringe


Russian.city


Симферополь

Временные ограничения полётов в 11 аэропортах России продлили до 10 октября


Губернаторы России
Алла Пугачёва

Соседи Пугачевой за 10-140 млн рублей распродают свои дома в деревне Грязь


Татьяна Шеулина: «Традиционная одежда подчеркивает красоту женщины»

В Молжаниновском районе построят новый жилой корпус

Гидрометцентр предупредил о сильных осадках в российских регионах

Почему на похороны именитого музыканта Бориса Моисеева не пришел никто из его семьи


Шокирующие мини и детские хвостики: стилист разобрала гардероб Нетребко

Певец SHAMAN: «„Встанем“ стало самым популярным видео российского YouTube»

Миллионы долларов мимо: певица Карди Би прошляпила сделку с Call of Duty

НЕСОЛОНО ХЛЕБАВШИ ⟩ Поклонники, пришедшие на концерт Моргенштерна в Таллинне, остались за дверями клуба?


Блинкова пробилась в основную сетку турнира WTA 500 в Остраве

Бывший физиотерапевт Серены Уильямс рассказал о специфике её тела

Джокович – единственный игрок в ATP-туре, который взял в этом году турниры на всех трех покрытиях

Чилич встретится с Джоковичем в финале турнира в Тель-Авиве



Угрожавший "устроить резню" в вузе первокурсник задержан в Москве

Корпоратив Мезонпроект прошел на выезде в городе Нижний Новгород.

Филипп Киркоров покаялся на похоронах Бориса Моисеева

«Зарядят дожди»: жителей Москвы ожидает пасмурная погода в первую неделю октября


Игорь Маковский: безусловное исполнение Указа Президента РФ - наша гражданская и профессиональная обязанность

Артисты Театра кукол Карелии сыграли 10 спектаклей на гастролях в Барнауле

«Магнит для женщин»: названы пять имен самых страстных мужчин

Прощание с Борисом Моисеевым пройдет 2 октября в открытом режиме в Москве


Юные смоляне могут принять участие во Всероссийском конкурсе молодых журналистов

Гидрометцентр объявил в Москве "оранжевый" уровень погодной опасности из-за ветра

Катамаран "Москва", застрявший под Владивостоком, cняли с мели

Строительство часовни Воскресения Христова начнется в д. Рожново Зарайского округа в 2023 году



Путин в России и мире







Персональные новости
Russian.city

Рэпер ST

Рэпер ST рассказал, что добивался своей жены



News Every Day

7 Perfect Pear Recipes from Savory to Sweet




Friends of Today24


Загрузка...
Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости
Moscow.media