LA 92: The Riots

LA 92: The Riots


Extraordinary research and editing effort must have gone into this documentary about the riots that raged in Los Angeles 25 years ago. It’s a two-hour montage of contemporary clips, without narration or captions. That approach is perhaps fitting, given how the trouble started: a bystander with a camcorder had captured white police officers repeatedly striking prone motorist Rodney King, so his fellow black Angelenos didn’t merely suspect injustice when the cops were acquitted. They’d seen the raw footage.

The relentless flow of dramatic, disturbing images feels much more immediate for not being put in retrospective context: before our eyes America’s deep-seated racism flares, and then the fragile social contract that keeps the streets peaceful is ripped up at alarming speed.


Documentary about the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the controversial Rodney King trial, using archive footage to explore the situation from several perspectives.