Downtown Race Riot
On a hot late summer day in 1976, a mob of young men – all white except one – descended on Washington Square Park with pipes and bats, and attacked any people of color they could find. Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s Downtown Race Riot takes us back to this day, in the cramped Village apartment of Mary Shannon (Chloë Sevigny), a strung-out, free-wheeling single mom, as her son Pnut and his Haitian best friend Massive wrestle with their obligation to join the riot. The boys, torn between loyalty to each other and to the neighborhood, grasp for ways to keep the violence from destroying their friendship forever. A snapshot of a time not so different than today, when a new social freedom ran smack into the forces of reaction, and when the stakes were truly life and death.