Premiere, documentary shows a cops not-guilty verdict in the Rodney King trial in Los Angeles ignites five days of protests, violence, looting and 50 people die, on April 30th, 2017, at 6pm PT, 9pm ET on DirecTV
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Stars) 2017/04/30 – “I think there was an early clip, though, that we saw of a business owner, on the second day of the unrest, pleading with a group of people that were there,” says LA 92, director Daniel Lindsay. “Some who had possibly just looted his store, and saying, ‘This isn’t right. Why are we doing this?’ And there was just something so the humanity in that clip and the visceral-ness of it was really what TJ and I first clued into and said, ‘This is what the film needs to be. It needs to be about what are we capable of as human beings, from the best things to the worst things.’ And that was far more intriguing to us than trying to figure out the anatomy of how this happened and the logistics of a response.”
“I think right from the outset, we weren’t really interested in…like, litigating this event and trying to find the reasons or analyze it in a way that would lay blame at somebody’s footsteps,” says Lindsay. “For us, we felt like that would kind of absolve all of us of how we are actually really connected in all of these matters. And also, we really wanted to put the viewer in the experience and to wrestle with those emotions in real time and to try to analyze these things on their own. That was the biggest reason.”
In LA 92, the documentary reconstructs the tumultuous events that unfolded in 1992 by exclusively using archival footage and photographs. It cuts thousands of hours of visceral broadcast news footage, radio reports, police files and personal home videos.
Latasha Harlins an African-American teenager was killed in November 1991 by a Korean convenience store owner convicted of fatally shooting was given no jail time by a white Los Angeles judge.
Rodney King an unarmed black motorist. He was beaten six months later by four police officers. They were acquitted of assault by a predominantly white Simi Valley jury. The King verdict sparked a wave of violent protests, looting and arson that lasted several days and left more than 50 people dead, thousands injured and large swaths of Los Angeles.
The story is told entirely through archival footage. The film captures the shock, disappointment and fury felt by many Angelenos, particularly those in the African-American community. It follows the outcomes of the trials. It was the first time the kind of abuse many had witnessed or experienced at the hands of LAPD officers was recorded and broadcast.
Pete Wilson was LA’s Governor. On April 29th, 1992, mayhem began in the predominantly black area of South Central Los Angeles and spread to other parts of the city. The situation was exacerbated by the slow reaction of first responders and delays in deploying National Guard troops to secure the area. It shows a multitude of vantage points. The film brings perspective to a pivotal moment that reverberates to this day.
LA 92 premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21st, followed by a multi-city tour, theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles and broadcast debut on National Geographic
A Lightbox and National Geographic Documentary Films production. Produced by Simon Chinn and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn. Executive produced by executive producer is Matt Renner. Directed by Oscar winners Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin.
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the best documentary filmmakers in the world.
Lightbox is a multinational media company focused on creating high-quality nonfiction programming for film, television and digital platforms, founded by Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers and cousins Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn.