John Ridley’s “Let It Fall” documentary is as intricate as it is Gut-Wrenching about the L.A Riots . My Review.
“Can we all just get along?” was a question that was posed by Rodney King and its also the question that will undoubtedly ring throughout generations,especially in this current social climate. John Ridley is one of my favorite filmmakers in Hollywood at the moment. He is well-known for his Oscar Winning Screenplay of “12 Years A Slave”. He is also the creator of ABC’s critically acclaimed television series “American Crime”, which is currently about to end its third season. I always stated that the show is a holds no barred unapologetic and rather grim look into American society and at the same time the human condition as well. So when I heard that John Ridley was making a documentary about the L.A Riots, I was deeply invested in watching it. John Ridley’s style of writing and filmmaking is intrinsic as it analyzes all perspectives on how the L.A Riots effected all walks of life from African-Americans, to Asians, to Hispanics, and to Whites. It explores the deep seething rage that had been bubbling underneath the city of Los Angeles for over a decade, that culminated in the L.A Riots. John Ridley explored the various factors that caused this deep seated rage from Operation Hammer that used unruly methods of cracking down on gang activity, from the shooting of an African-American teen by a Korean Grocery owner who was let go on 5 year probation and eventually to the infamous Rodney King case in which all officers involved in the beating were found not guilty. The footage shown supplements the cruelty of what people are capable of as well. Interviews with survivors, witnesses, etc showcased the various feelings of neglect, pain, paranoia, rage, and resignation. While this documentary showcased the fear and inhumanity that was festered from racial tensions it also showcased acts of heroism from ordinary citizens who wanted to help other ordinary citizens.
John Ridley’s work is different as is from lets say, Spike Lee who is also no stranger to tackling racial issues (Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X), while I appreciate his work, I appreciate John Ridley’s work more as he tends to have an emphasis to showcase a multiethnic perspective on his work. Which is something I greatly appreciate because when it comes to social issues everyone is going to be effected and all will feel the burden. Now in the face of this current social climate, where everything is so greatly polarized that we refuse to acknowledge differences and instead want to stay within our own comfort zone, now is the time to ask ourselves “Can we all just get along?”. We may becoming a more culturally diverse nation but we are becoming a more culturally encapsulated one at the same time. John Ridley has once again delivered a grim multiethnic oral presentation of racial tensions that is a must watch.