Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow is known for taking on difficult material, such as the Iraq War (The Hurt Locker) and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden (Zero Dark Thirty). In 2017, she tackled the disturbing true story of the Algiers Motel incident during Detroit’s 1967 riot in Detroit, which left three innocent black teenagers dead at the hands of police and several more badly beaten.
On Sunday, Detroit was awarded outstanding independent motion picture at the 49th NAACP Image Awards gala. Following her win, Bigelow drew parallels between the racial injustice and imbalance of power that was prevalent 50 years ago and our present day socio-political situation.
“The endemic racism, social inequality and abuse of power which precipitated this tragedy persist today as real threats to our freedom and the integrity of our social fabric,” she said, per the L.A. Times.
“Given the racist and xenophobic views emanating from the White House this week, largely unchallenged in the halls of power, we must remain vigilant and uncompromising in demanding our leaders reflect our highest ideals as an inclusive democracy,” she said. “As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and legacy, I’m reminded of his words in 1963: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”
Bigelow was referring to an alleged remark made by President Donald Trump that described Haiti and some African nations as “shithole countries.” The president has denied saying this, and other senators have jumped to his defense, though not without taking some heat for it.
Detroit earned just $21.5 million worldwide against a budget of $34 million, according to The Numbers.
While the film was not quite the financial success Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures was hoping for when it launched its distribution branch with Detroit, Bigelow’s film did receive generally positive reviews. The movie currently holds an 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 77/100 on Metacritic. It also doesn’t look as if the bottom line will hurt Annapurna that much, as they may be close to landing the rights to the James Bond franchise.