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Riotsville, U.S.A.

USA 2022, 91 min, Dir: Sierra Pettengill


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Welcome to Riotsville, a fictional town built by the U.S. military.


Focusing on unearthed military training footage of Army-built model towns called “Riotsvilles,” where military and police were trained to respond to civil disorder in the aftermath of the Kerner Commission created by President Lyndon B. Johnson, director Sierra Pettengill’s kaleidoscopic all-archival documentary reconstructs the formation of a national consciousness obsessed with maintaining law and order by any means necessary. Drawing insight from a time similar to our own, Riotsville, USA pulls focus on American institutional control and offers a compelling case that if the history of race in America rhymes, it is by design.



December 8, 2022
9:30 pm