In spring 1992, Los Angeles erupted into flames. All hell broke loose after the incomprehensible acquittal of four police officers who had been filmed beating the African American taxi driver Rodney King to a pulp.
Strangely enough, a good film had never been made about these historical events. Do great American directors not dare to tackle the story or are producers too afraid or indifferent? The French-Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, whose debut Mustang was compared to The Virgin Suicides, has taken on the challenge. She got two big names involved: Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, and the soundtrack was written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
Needless to say, expectations were high. Ergüven has unfortunately bitten off far more than she can chew. Her attempt to faithfully depict the chaos, noise, unhealthy tension, and often absurd situations does not play out in the film’s favour, nor does the perspective of the family of a single mother with eight children and the reckless, drunken neighbour who is “the only white guy in the neighbourhood.” A well-intentioned film that you will soon forget.