Riotsville, USA


ByTowne Cinema Sat, Dec 3, 2022 2:00 PM
ByTowne Cinema Tue, Dec 6, 2022 4:30 PM
ByTowne Cinema Thu, Dec 8, 2022 6:45 PM
Film Info
Release Year:2022
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Sierra Pettengill
Cast:Charlene Modeste


Welcome to Riotsville, a fake town created in the 1960s at a U.S. military fort used to instruct police on how to handle the uprisings of the era. Putting on full reenactments, soldiers and police dressed as civilians would act out protests in the town’s streets, then display how to shut down the “unruly crowd” using a full show of force. Unsurprisingly, the tipping point that turned a peaceful protest into a riot usually came in the form of a “Black Panther agitator.” These drills were filmed and became the gold standard for the police practice of crowd control. Built entirely from archival footage, director Sierra Pettengill masterfully weaves the recently unearthed training videos with supplementary newsreels and scenes of actual protests in Liberty City, Kent State, and elsewhere that point to the grander institutional failings of the Johnson administration’s Kerner Commission, a massive expansion of military and police funding to control its own people.