LA 92 Review - Graphic, Brutal, Shocking Footage of LA Riots

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

LA 92, the National Geographic documentary, is one of four films that have been released on the Rodney King verdict and subsequent violence that erupted almost immediately and continued over a three-day period in April 1992.

Directed by Academy award winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin and Lightbox Entertainment, LA 92 presents an up close and personal account of what has become known as the Rodney King Riots, staring at the verdict, at the very courthouse in Simi Valley, spilling over into the streets of South Central, and tracking the fires, looted business, and killings over a three-day time.

The 25th Anniversary of the LA Riots sparked over the acquittal of four officers who were videotaped beating an African American, shocked the nation, and every politician and law enforcement official in Los Angeles, and California, also denounced the verdict.

What followed made the world wonder if it was injustice, if the videotape was only the end result of rage that was not captured. To understand race in Los Angeles, the directors provided the history of the Watts riots some twenty-seven years previous.

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 –1992 Review – Poignant Interviews and News Footage Personalize Shocking Documentary

LA 92 remains a calm account, really, until the verdict, when an insidious spirit came upon the crowd, and the injustice of Latasha Harlins, no jail time for the convicted killer a Korean store owner in South Central who believed Harlins was shoplifting Orange Juice to this the Verdict which proved to the people that police brutality was allowed. It was too much, and too soon between these troubling events.

Which is when LA 92 becomes a gritty, graphic, brutal presentation. There is no voice over distracting viewers from the actual events, only shocked accounts from news crews and anchors as live footage, which had been broadcast to the world, as mobs ripped open car doors, pelted automobiles with bricks and cement blocks, forcing people to run for their lives.

Archival news footage Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, the national news voices at the time, the local news crews, which networks sent women into angry mobs expecting the "weaker" or softer gender to produce calm, a distraction, which was ludicrous as the situation was out of control and the documentary shows that extent of societal degradation.

The documentary also  presents grievous time lapses by Daryl Gates, LA's top cop at the time, former Mayor Tom Bradley, Los Angeles Mayor, the first African American Mayor of any major city and California Governor Pete Wilson.

The wait and see approach before calling in the National Guard was a mistake. A stronger military presence would have cut down on damages and deaths.

I received a "not cleared for broadcast" screening link and so some footage may not be included in the cable airing. The footage, captured by news crews, news copters, and others who braved streets, escalating violence and quickly deteriorating civility became the first hand account, and possibly the only memory ever, of South Central.

Africa's Hunters – Graphic New Streaming Smithsonian Earth Series Follows Wildlife in Zambia's Luangwa Valley

What is shown simply leaves one wondering, as the mob takes over, if those active killers who responded to the Rodney King verdict with a violence begets violence attitude, who took to the streets, targeting motorists at random, becoming savage taking on the personality of a rabid animal, enacting a violent tribal response to a killing of one of their own, where death and nearly instantaneous orders that those white boys who passed by a particular South Central intersection would be "fucked up" expected to be heard and treated with civility allowing leaders within the community to rationalize the violence?

What follows is the degeneration of society where one time neighbors became animalistic, using their vehicles as weapons disabling passing white and Korean motorists, setting up the kill, dragging owners from damaged vehicles, pulverizing, beating, lynch mobs who stopped short of stringing the whites up by a noose.

The violence that spilled over portrayed a people who had been teetering on the edge of this catastrophe for some time, the Watts Riots of 1965, may have been thirty years before and still the ingrained belief of injustice, was the finger on the trigger, just waiting for the moment.

The outcry of injustice was justified the violence was not. I wondered as I watched those incited the violence, those men who have aged 25 years, and now sitting in some lazy boy lounge chair watching the riot tapes replay, do the stand up and cheer at their actions, has time soften the hatred and or the belief that white people are the problem, and the root cause of every problem the black man has faced in his entire life, while taking no responsibility for his own actions?

The recent Black Lives Matter movement, has ignited the same root in the hearts of the people. Injustice is more than difficult to understand, injustice can be incapacitating, as shocking as violence, stifling, and choking, and injustice often comes from those who have pledged allegiance, a loyalty, to uphold impartiality.

During grave times of injustice understanding the motivation is impossible, the blindness of the injury is the red flag waved in front of the bull and honestly the tool to have society remember only the actions of the violent.

Reinforcing the stereotype is the easiest path to negating the initial injustice. Which is what we see in LA 92, the violent, uncontrollable, African Americans became a mob of vicious, brutal, killers, unable to control or calm themselves. So much so the police were withdrawn, fearing for the safety of the officers, and allowing the world to see anarchy in action.

Seeing the documentary now, still creates the innate fear that at a moment's notice the widespread race hate will boil over and spill once again into the streets and as happenstance would have it two paths, the white and negro meet.

Watching men, who twenty-five years later are watching themselves as part of the aggressor, do they see their actions with a small hidden pride?

Can they own their actions, now 25 years later? Can they stand up and say to neighbors at the bar-b-que, "Oh I was there" or as they swap stories of that night or those days do they soften or as time often does smooth the rough edges off their actions that left many dead, injured and homes, business, lives burned looted and destroyed or do they let the moment and memory pass?

LA 92 ends with a city divided; a community burned and a people determined to work through the horrific violence and begin the clean up. Led by native East Los Angeles actor James Edward Olmos, members of the Hispanic community came together along with truckloads of concerned neighbors. The Korean community, targeted, during those days also came together in the same community with a silent, demonstration of peace. Thousands from the Asian community showed up with signs, silently sitting, voicing their opinion, belief and support.

LA 92 is a must see film. Be prepared to be riveted, as the troubling events unfold.

LA 92 premiered recently at the Tribeca Film Festival Following the premiere at Tribeca, the film will complete a multi-city screening tour including Baltimore; Charlotte; St. Louis; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta.  

Additionally, a limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles begins Friday, April 28, and LA 92 makes its television broadcast debut on National Geographic on Sunday, April 30, at 9:00pm/8:00pm (c) and will also air globally in 171 countries and 45 languages.

 

Haute Tease

  • AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi Announces a Special Tribute to David O. Russell

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, CA, October 31, 2013 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, today announced a Special Tribute to David O. Russell on Friday, November 8. AFI FEST will take place November 7 through 14 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: Game of Thrones' Iain Glen Talks on Newest Film, My Cousin Rachel, Motivations, and The Future

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Iain Glen, the versatile Scottish actor known to American audiences as Jorah Mormont, in the wildly successful HBO series Game of Thrones, is starring with Rachel Weisz in the psychological drama My Cousin Rachel directed by Roger Michell.

     
  • Jon Landau, AVATAR Producer, Hosts Blu-Ray Release Screening

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jon Landau, executive producer of James Cameron’s phenomenally successful film AVATAR and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, recently hosted a press day introducing the soon-to-be released AVATAR Blu-ray edition.

     
  • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar La Jolla Review - Indulging, Decadent, Tantalizingly Delicious

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Fleming’s La Jolla location on numerous occasions over the past decade. With each, the award-winning restaurant exhibited why it’s remained a North County staple for classic steakhouse fare since opening in 1999.

     
  • Jennifer Lawrence To Present At OSCARS®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Oscar® winner Jennifer Lawrence will return to present at this year's Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.  

Crime

  • LAX Shooter Pleads Not Guilty

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Paul Anthony Ciancia, the accused LAX shooter, has pled not guilty to murdering a TSA Agent and 10 other related federal charges in his second court appearance since the November 1, 2013 shooting.

     
  • Three Women Missing a Decade Found Alive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three Cleveland, Ohio, women, who had been missing for over a decade, were found alive held captive together, after a stunning escape.

     
  • Jealousy Alleged Motive in Houston Family Massacre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A jealous former lover entered the Houston suburb home of his former girlfriend, through an unlocked window Saturday night, and proceeded to restrain and systemically execute every member of the family, including his own biological son.

     
  • Boston Bomber Found Guilty; Sentencing to Follow

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon Bomber, was found guilty of homegrown terrorism and other crimes after a month long trial where the theory of mental coercion by the defendant’s brother was introduced. His guilty verdict deems him death penalty eligible.

     
  • Shooter Kills 12 at D.C. Navy Yard

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Washington DC dawn was disrupted when a former employee, dressed in military fatigues, accessed the U.S. Navy Yard and opened fire killing 12 and injuring eight before he was gunned down by police.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • A Pink Suitcase Book Review – Empowering Stories from Women Who Dared

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Pink Suitcase, from World Traveler Press, presents twenty-two provocative individual stories of empowered woman who dared to fulfill their dreams of global expedition, from hiking the Appalachian Trail to entering Gutsy Gal adventures.

     
  • HL A&E Presents The Best Summer 2016 Music Festivals, by the Numbers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every year, thousands of people flock to church. The devotees pray in flower crowns and straw hats, fringe-laden vests and neon body paint. They are the congregation of music lovers, gathering from many different corners of the world to worship at the summer’s many music festivals.  

  • Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival - A Global Experience in the Magical Mojave

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Merging its funky desert style with an internationally acclaimed lineup of musical artists, this three day (and four night) family-friendly festival is truly a global music experience. The 13th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival melds the overwhelming spirit of desert freedom with powerful music from around the world to create a lighthearted oasis for music lovers.

     
  • V Theater Las Vegas Review - Entertainment Aplenty

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    No matter how many times you’ve visited Vegas, no trip would be complete without taking in a show or two amidst the time you spend eating, gaming, clubbing, sunning and otherwise funing in Sin City.

     
  • Living A Life That Matters: A Memoir of the Marquis de Lafayette Review – Surprisingly Interesting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Penned by renowned Civil Rights attorney David M. Weitzman, Living A Life That Matters will not jump off the shelf for the causal bookstore window shopper. The title, the image all suggest an intellectual read reserved for professors, scholars, politicians and the like.