Sundance Review: Riotsville USA is a cold and disturbing watch.

1968: Massive civil unrest, followed by a rare chance for justice. Riotsville, USA is the untold story of what we did instead. Told through a series of all-archival chapters chronicling forgotten and increasingly bizarre events, the film reveals the mechanism by which a nation declares war against its own.

Riotsville USA is entirely archival footage with some narration but not a whole lot, which truly helps this documentary get it’s point across. It talks about a lot of different topics such as the history of the police, the government’s control of American protests in the 1960s particularly the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It draws a lot of parallels of the past and present and does a really good job of explaining why, it truly teleports you to the 1960s and shows how these protests happened, why they happened and how did the media react. As far as filmmaking goes it feels very experimental which is a very different approach from a lot of other documentaries I’ve seen, sure the information given In Riotsville USA might not be new but the use of archival footage really makes this a quite disturbing and cold film that I truly believe justifies a watch.

Riotsville USA currently has no release date.

8/10 B+

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