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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Friday, April 28, 2017


From a forum on political stuff--


So tonight ABC will air a documentary about all the events that led up to the 1992 LA riots, with special emphasis on the heavy hand of Daryl Gates. The doc is given the somewhat inflammatory title of "Let It Fall."

I don't know how accurate or balanced the doc will be; it may indeed be a superb work of non-fictional filmmaking. As a liberal, I believe that everyone should have access to all aspects of our history, however uncomfortable.

What I find myself wondering, however, is whether or not the doc-- assuming it is, as said, indicting the Gates regime-- will have any beneficial effects as such.

I can imagine that when a filmmaker tackles this sort of topic, his basic moral message is akin to, "Never again." In other words. he wants to shame the Caucasian population so that future generations will never again think about enforcing a new Jim Crow.

But does a document that makes an "anniversary" of a riot 25 years ago have the desired effect? Does it make white people more penitent?

Or does it have the opposite effect, making many of them-- those who are NOT card-carrying members of white racist organizations-- sick and tired of hearing about grievances that date back that far?

I know the Santayana rationale that's always trotted out in these situations. But in terms of pure effectiveness-- will a doc like LET IT FALL appeal to anyone but the already converted?

ADDENDUM: I later commented-- 

Having watched the doc now, I still can't say if it will have any beneficial effects, but I'm impressed with Ridley's work here. I found it even-handed in structure, in that none of the L.A. populations-- white, black, or Korean-- came off looking sinless. 

If any documentary can prove persuasive across ingroups, I think the more even-handed ones have the better chance.

Not that the doc won't have its detractors, of course.

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