DESCRIPTION: In July 1967, Detroit experienced one of America’s most violent civil disturbances. To tell that story in an emblematic way, this feature film fuses rare archival footage from the era – including newsreel, educational films and more than 400 reels of home movies donated by Detroiters – along with illustrations. The narrative combines contemporary interviews, oral histories, radio broadcasts and dispatch recordings to create an immersive film experience that transports the audience back in time to explore the causes and aftermath of Detroit’s most pivotal moment in history.
PRODUCTION: 12th and Clairmount is a production of the Detroit Free Press in collaboration with many other Detroit institutions. The film would not have been possible without Detroiters’ donations of 8mm home movie footage. That effort was led by the Detroit Institute of Arts, where I spent the better part of a month digitizing films that had been buried in attics and basements for decades. Producers Kathy Kieliszewski, Bill McGraw and I worked through the winter months of 2017 to assemble the wealth of other archival materials that make the film possible. Rashaun Rucker created original artwork to illustrate several important scenes. I wrote and edited the film in roughly six weeks ahead of its World Premiere at The Fillmore Detroit during the Freep Film Festival.
POST–PREMIERE: With overwhelming local demand, the film has screened to sold-out audiences at theaters throughout Metro Detroit. The film’s festival screenings include DOC NYC, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Traverse City Film Festival. Variety Magazine has called the film, “illuminating and innovatively crafted.”