‘Riotsville USA’ director Sierra Pettengill explores response to ’60s era civil unrest

Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the...

Filmmaker Sierra Pettengill says the first time she watched the U.S. Army training films at the heart of her new documentary “Riotsville, USA,” the grainy images were as stunning as the meaning they carried.

“I had this real whiplash, which I also think made its way into the tone of the film,” Pettengill says of her first viewing of this little-before-seen footage from the late ’60s. “Between the absurdity and the ridiculousness and how stupid a lot of it looks — then you’re kind of instantly whiplashed to true chilling violence.

“That state of toggling between those two,” she says. “That was my first reaction.”

Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. Seen here are stills from a U.S. Army training film made in the late ’60s to demonstrate military-style techniques for breaking up demonstrations. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions to problems behind civil unrest in the ’60s, such as racism and poverty in minority communities, and instead chose to militarize local law enforcement response. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

Director Sierra Pettengill’s new documentary, “Riotsville, USA,” looks at the way in which the federal government was provided with solutions …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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