Dr Samantha N Sheppard Selects Films That Explain Why People Riot

In an article for The Atlantic, cinema and media studies scholar, professor, and writer Dr Samantha N Sheppard outlines some of the films that best explain why people riot—as opposed to what many argue to be “morally appropriate forms of protest.” Beginning with Spike Lee’s phenomenal Do The Right Thing (1989), Dr Sheppard traces various significant works including The Hughes brothers’ Menace II Society (1993) and Ivan Dixon’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973), giving them context within history and contrasting them with “representations of white violence in film [that] spectacularize riots and lionize vigilante justice.” The explanation, if one can distill it, is a line from Do The Right Thing‘s protagonist Mookie. When Mookie asks his pizza shop boss for his paycheck, he is denied; the boss explains that Mookie breaking a window kicked off the looting and damaging of the property. Mookie responds: “Motherfuck a window—Radio Raheem is dead.” Read more at The Atlantic.