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Riotsville USA (PG) + virtual ScreenTalk with director Sierra Pettengill (live from the US) and Bonnie Greer

Architecture on Film

Still from Riotsville USA

60s USA: Cities are ablaze with civil unrest, fuelled by protest and racial injustice. Archive footage charts a nation choosing to wage war on its people, despite a rare opportunity to fix old wounds.

Following violent uprisings in Watts, Chicago, Detroit and 150 more cities over the ‘long, hot summer of 1967’, the US government built model ‘Riotsvilles’ to train its troops against urban disorder.

Departing from unearthed military footage of exercises in these fictive towns, explosively framed by a web of broadcast TV, Pettengill artfully gives acerbic voice to archival materials, to illustrate a turning point in US history.

A tale of violent policing, systemic racism and polarisation, and the tragic consequences of paths untaken, that finds startling resonances with present day realities.

US 2022 dir Sierra Pettengil 91 min

Total event running time 130 min 

Curated by the Architecture Foundation

This screening has been locally classified 

An image of the Architecture Foundation logo

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