If you’re watching the news and thinking about the events of Ferguson, you might consider watching these movies to better understand race relations.
If you’re old enough to remember the Los Angeles Riots, then consider that the African American population in Los Angeles was a little over 10 percent in 1990 and is a little lower now. However, in South Central Los Angeles is 50 percent black and 44 percent Latino. The riots began in South Central and was sparked by the acquittal of white police officers in the beating of Rodney G. King.
King was not from South Central. He was born in Sacramento and raised in Altadena. He was apprehended after a high-speed pursuit heading west on the 210 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley on 4 March 1991. The arrest took place in Lakeview Terrace.
Movies about the LA Riots:
- “Grand Canyon” (1991). With Danny Glover and Kevin Kline.
- “Malcolm X” (1992). Directed by Spike Lee. With Denzel Washington.
- “Sa-I-Gu” (1993) is a documentary about female Korean shopkeepers. This film was shown on PBS.
- “Riot” (1997). With Dante Basco, Mario Van Peebles, Cicely Tyson and Luke Perry.
- “American History X” (1998)
Currently “Grand Canyon” and “Riot” are not available on Amazon Instant. “Riot” is available on DVD. “Grand Canyon” is available for streaming on Netflix.
Los Angeles, Ca isn’t Ferguson.
Ferguson, Mo. is 67 percent African American and 29 percent white according to the 2010 census. In 2000, the census showed the population was 52 percent African American and 44.8 percent white.
Martin Luther King Jr. led non-violent protests in areas that were predominately African American.
- “Boycott” (2001): American TV movie that was given a Peabody Award. With Jeffrey Wright as King, Terrence Howard as Ralph Abernathy and C.C.H. Pounder as Jo Ann Robinson.
- The upcoming release “Selma.” (25 December 2014)
- “Citizen King; American Experience” (2004)
- “America’s Civil Rights Years” (1987) from PBS.
“Boycott,” “American’s Civil Rights Years” and “Citizen King” are available as a DVD on Netflix.
Looking at the racism in other countries:
- “May Allah Bless France!” (2014) Original title is: “Qu’Allah bénisse la France!”
- “Mandela” (1996)
- “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (2013) With Idris Elba.
- Invictus (2009): Directed by Clint Eastwood with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.
Both “Mandela” movies are available as DVD/Blu-ray on Netflix. “Invictus” is available on Amazon Instant. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is also available on Amazon Instant.
The French movie “Qu’Allah bénisse la France!” is directed by poet Abd Al Malik, his first feature. Malik was a scholar, petty thief and drug dealer until he converted to Islam. The film is based on his autobiography with the same title. The biopic is currently playing at film festivals such as this month’s AFI Film Fest. In France, rap artists were accused of inciting riots.
King was influenced by Mohandas K. Gandhi who led a non-violent protest against the British rule. The movie “Gandhi” stars Ben Kingsley and was directed by Richard Attenborough. It won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director. “Gandhi” is available for streaming on Netflix.