LA 92 ★★★★½

The final thirty or so minutes of this film are some of the most masterful sequences in documentary filmmaking that I've ever seen. Images of violence intercut with pictures of smiling white politicians and businessmen as they wear their untorn suits and climb out of their shiny black cars, unscathed by the fires around them, the fires they created. Near the end, we see Rodney King's address to the people of Los Angeles in which he calls for an end to the violence, and for us all to get along. It is followed by a video of George H.W. Bush adjusting his suit, then proceeding to give a pep talk to Americans (white people) about how order will be restored to the city plagued by thugs and criminals bent on destroying it. His speech is intercut with images of the police doing exactly as Bush quoted, using as much force as is necessary to restore order. Arresting black people, beating them, until it becomes a collage so large that we are forced to deal with the understanding that this is what has become normal. The police are responsible, the systems of power that oppress minority communities are responsible. The police, who act as a weapon of the state to enforce the law, which is designed to criminalize blacks and privilege whites. This is Los Angeles, 1992, but it is also America, 2018.

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