Riotsville, USA

Dir. Sierra Pettengill, 2022, 91 min


Showtime Theater @ The Blue Note Thu, Mar 3 7:15 PM
The Picturehouse Sat, Mar 5 8:00 PM
Missouri Theatre Sun, Mar 6 9:30 AM
Film Info
Original Language:English


During the civil rights uprisings of the ‘60s, a barrage of fictional towns were created by the U.S. military. “Riotsvilles” functioned as training grounds for the military and police to respond to national unrest. Rare footage is woven together by broadcast programs, archival images, and occasional on-screen text, recontextualizing the images with the resonance of an awkward television series, where people who are not aware they’re being filmed act as players in theater staged by unseen forces. Director Sierra Pettengill unearths unsettling evidence of bizarre events, revealing the origins of police militarization and state-sanctioned violence and the sinister tactics of the nation that persist in the present. (AG)