Thank you for this review. When I do see the film Detroit I’ll come back and re-read the review to assist my understandings.
I’ve slowly (and with ongoing slippages) come to appreciate that we white folks have only a passing acquaintance with any grasp of history that doesn’t either make us heroes or harmless or specify unwhite villains or white villains that are not the most of us. Since that pretty much obliterates most of the past 500 years in the western hemisphere then history is usually ignored or presented so vaguely and incoherently as to be meaningless or is straightforward delusion masquerading as “accurate”.
In this review you wrote about the screenwriter Boal that: “…he doesn’t seem to have much of an imagination about his characters’ psychologies.” Spot on…that’s a good way to describe the principle figures in the three of his films that I’m familiar with (In the Valley of Elah, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty). (Note: I thought much of The Hurt Locker was bizarre and silly but I need to go re-watch it since my viewpoint/perspective has shifted since I first saw it)
I haven’t seen Detroit yet but Ms. Bigelow’s directorial skills were evident in her previous films so I look forward to watching it…but I won’t look for much in terms of any sort of realistic human portrayals or any sort of genuine contextualizing and/or historical depth.
For our comprehension to be in the thralls of whiteness and patriarchy in this culture at this point in history (and from what I can grasp, all of us white folks are unavoidably twisted in this way) militantly precludes such comprehensions. Neither Ms. Bigelow nor Mr. Boal have (at least until now) shown much in the way of struggling against these “normalized” distortions of reality. Given Ms. Bigelow’s talents and skill…it’s interesting to me to imagine what she could do if she weren’t so afflicted with U.S. white American reality avoidance syndrome.
Again, thanks for this post.