Oscar-Winning Director to Bring 1967 Detroit Race Riots to Big Screen in Time for 50th Anniversary
Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are working on a new project that will depict the causes and aftermath of the 1967 race riot in Detroit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the untitled Detroit project “will be set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five summer days in 1967. Boal has been researching and working on the project, which explores systemic racism in urban Detroit, for more than a year. Although no studio is yet attached, a release date is being targeted for 2017, the 50th anniversary of the riots.”
Bigelow and Boal have had a working relationship before, directing and writing The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Their partnership has yielded two Oscars for 2008’s The Hurt Locker and tons of Hollywood credibility.
The 1967 riots happened during the tail end of the civil rights movement. Housing discrimination and high unemployment were driving forces of the riots, but the over-policing in Black communities in the city amplified the awful conditions in the urban metropolis.
Michigan governor George Romney had to call in the National Guard to end the public disorder, which left 43 people dead and 1,189 injured over a period of five days. After the incident, the city did not recover and many of the same issues of over-policing and inadequate housing plagued Detroit.
Today, Detroit is dealing with issues of bankruptcy, failing schools, and the state of Michigan as a whole is dealing with the Flint water crisis, so this film is extremely timely.