Remember The Inferno 25 Years Later In ‘LA 92’
25 years ago, the world watched as Los Angeles went up in flames.
The burning, riots, and violence were a direct response to the Rodney King verdicts. In the late evening of March 3, 1991, four police officers savagely beat 25-year old Black motorist Rodney King to a pulp. Their actions were caught on videotape, and the officers were tried for their crimes. On April 29, 1992, all four officers involved were acquited of any wrong doing, and the anger from the Black community towards the LAPD and the criminal justice system came to a boiling point.
In their new documentary LA 92, Academy Award-winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martian along with National Geographic Documentary Films, transport us back in time. The film presents a searing and compelling look back at the controversial Rodney King trial, the murder of Latasha Harlins and the subsequent protests, violence, and lootings that ravaged the city for several days leaving more than fifty people dead and causing over $1 billion dollars worth of damage. During the riots, the LAPD was ordered not to act.
There are a ton of documentaries out this year commemorating the LA Riots which were foreshadowed by the 1965 Watts Riots. However, LA 92 stands out because it has no interviews, narration or talking heads. Instead, Lindsay and Martain used an immense amount of archival footage to thrust their audience into this particular time and place in a moment by moment retelling.
The film captures the horror, shock, and fury of a city deeply divided along racial and economic lines. Also, viewers will see a familiar face. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was front and center during the turmoil, helping her constituents and publicly criticizing everything from the LAPD to George H.W Bush’s administration.
LA 92 will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, April 21 and it will air on April 30th on National Geographic at 9 PM ET