I love it when I have long-anticipated the coming of a thing... and it arrives! Detroit finally hits theaters today and I am really looking forward to seeing it then chatting up folks in reaction to it. Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about the events during the summer of 1967, which inspired the film, but I am intrigued.
And talk about CASTING! John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith!!! Not to mention the dynamic writer-director duo of Mark Boal and Katherine Bigelow are at it again with this one. Let's hope this holds the same magic as what they created together in the films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. It will be interesting to see how the telling of this story through diverse perspectives is portrayed.
Synopsis: In the summer of 1967, rioting and civil unrest starts to tear apart the city of Detroit. Two days later, a report of gunshots prompts the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard to search and seize an annex of the nearby Algiers Motel. Several policemen start to flout procedure by forcefully and viciously interrogating guests to get a confession. By the end of the night, three unarmed men are gunned down while several others are brutally beaten.
One of my favorite things to do is people-watch at coffee shops. I sit and sip, quietly and curiously witness the gestures of lovers before or after a fight as they conceal greetings or gripes with glares, grins, and guffaws. A mother scolds her child for being a child at inconvenient times. People greet dogs with kindness before their owners. Even "curious-er" are the actions and behaviors of folks on social media where we shrink behind screens to grow more of whatever lurks within us; brave, cowardly, intelligent, ignorant, curious....
At times, I feel very clear in my position as social anthropologist. Maybe as a writer, it is an intuitive thing. As I craft "believable" characters, I study the nuances of humans and our behavior in social situations. Makes sense, right? Recently, I have become most interested in watching the people who are watching me. The "friends" and family with whom I am connected online who take the time to "Like" and "Love" my momentary headlines. When I post (especially an accomplishment) on social media, I am fortunate (and extremely grateful) to realize various forms of love, kind words, good energy, and support extended to me as I journey and process.
Interestingly, though, there is the idea that I keep "finally arriving" to the great destination... SUCCESS! (Whatever that means.) To be honest, I am usually so busy with the work of what it takes to set and accomplish a goal, figure out the next steps, or assess what I need for the climb, I often lose sight of the moments people applaud (or turn their lips up to) as some great fete. Please make no mistake... Each step on this road to wherever I land has been taken with great humility, courage, prayer, and determination to continue DESPITE the unrelenting and insecure voices in my head. When I can't beat those voices, I write about 'em. (hence the t-shirt). Then, I grab a glass of something delicious and red, or nibble a small square of some savory dark chocolate decadence, and I remind myself that there is no landing; there is only the journey. It is long and it will challenge everything I believed about myself. And it is beautiful and worth it.
I am grateful for the stamina and strength that I have gained from the process and the things that I have learned about myself and the world, from the process. But, dear friends, it is a process. And I am still in it. (Jenifer Lewis... I'm still holding the line!)
Thank you for the fuel of your Love. I Am because We Are.