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Uprising: Hip Hop and the LA Riots (2012)

Revisits the riots in gripping detail and draws from a diverse collection of voices - the rappers, rioters, victims, police officers, journalists and everyday citizens of South Central Los Angeles.

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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20 years after riots ripped through Los Angeles, "Uprising" documents how hip hop forecasted -- and some say ignited -- the worst civil unrest of the 20th century. The film revisits the riots in gripping detail and draws from a diverse collection of voices -- the rappers, rioters, victims, police officers, journalists and everyday citizens of South Central Los Angeles. The documentary traces the rise of dissent in Los Angeles in the 80's and 90's and explores why citizens chose to rise up violently against police abuse and perceived injustices. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Xesikomos sto Los Angeles  »

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Strong Documentary with Mixed Message
1 May 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Uprising: Hip Hop and the LA Riots (2012)

*** (out of 4)

Snoop Dogg narrates this rage-induced documentary taking a look at the L.A. riots and the impact that rap music had on the events. We get interviews with the likes of John Singleton, Arsenio Hall, Ice Cube, Ice-T and various other artists (as well as some public service folks) and they talk about their memories of the riots. I guess I'll start off by talking about the actual film because it is very well-made and director Mark Jones does a very good job at telling the story. I think the film has a lot of strong moments as it covers the Rodney King beating, the verdict and then the riots that broke out. With that said, I must admit that I have a problem with any documentary that tries to show the riots as something good. I can't mentioned how many times people were bragging about all the death and destruction that happened over those three days and I'm sorry but I find it stupid that such violence took place. I think most would agree that those four cops were worthless scum but those acting out really weren't any better. On such person is Henry Watson, the man who was involved in the beating of the truck driver Denny. Watson is interviewed here and just running off his mouth screaming more hate and it just got to the point where this guy would make anyone look bad. Throughout the documentary we see video footage of the fires, the beatings and neighborhoods being looted and at times it really does seem as if the director doesn't know how to show this stuff. On one hand he's putting it down but then the next we have interviews with people talking about how great these days were. Showing people looting and burning their own stores just seemed counter productive to me and I don't see how anyone could support anything that happened between the King beating and the final days of the riots. There's quite a bit of ugly video footage here and we end the film with a threat that stuff is boiling over and we could see the same situation again.


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