London, UK – Dreams Apart: Urban Apartheid and Civil Collapse in the City of Angels is an independent documentary that has recently experienced a renewal of interest and increased viewership since its initial release in 1997. The documentary is the product of independent filmmaker David Zilkha, and examines the various factors that contributed to the incident known as the 1992 LA Riots, and how the inner city is still affected to this day, over two decades later.
The film serves as a stark reminder of events from the past as well as a potent warning to future generations that is especially timely given the fact that many parts of the United States are currently experiencing issues today that are eerily similar to the issues and challenges that LA experienced in the months and years leading up to the riots in Los Angeles, California, in 1992.
Dreams Apart: Urban Apartheid and Civil Collapse in the City of Angels takes an in-depth look at the various factors that contributed to the development of the uprising that is known as the 1992 LA Riots. These factors include the challenging economy during that time, various complex social issues such as both legal and illegal immigration, the scarcity of federal funding, as well as the lack of oversight and accountability in various federal programs of the time. The film also reveals how corruption and incompetence in the handling of governmental funding have led to the further deterioration of the inner city neighborhoods and communities that were most affected by the riots.
In the film, immigrants, residents and business owners tell their stories, in their own words, of how they were affected by the riots, and the conditions that many believe led to the uprising. Their struggle to receive assistance from governmental agencies is also discussed in the film, and how the fact that less than 10% of the government funding that was earmarked to address the factors and issues that led to the uprising in fact reached the neighborhood, and how this led to a further decline in the neighborhoods affected by the riots. As part of this decline, poverty and crime, as well as racial and ethnic tensions, continue in the area, decades later. Today, many of these same issues and conditions that led to the riots are now found through urban and suburban areas in the United States.
Interest in the film has increased, given the fact that many of the same economic and social issues discussed in the film are now seen in an increasing number of areas of the country, and various social movements on both the left and the right, including the various groups that comprise both the Occupy and Tea Party movements, seem to mirror the frustration and polarization of the various groups that participated in the LA uprising in 1992.
Lasting over six days, the riots led to the deaths of 53 people, over 2,000 injuries, and widespread arson and looting with various insurance and governmental bodies declaring that over 1 Billion dollars in property damage occurred due to the riots. While some point to outrage at the Rodney King verdict, most agree that this does not explain the widespread anger and violent acts between African-Americans, Koreans, Hispanics and Whites that occurred during the riots. As pointed out in the film in interviews with many residents and business owners, the true cause of the violent uprising and protests was mounting frustration over economic disparities and racial tensions between citizens and both legal and illegal immigrants to the area. The verdict was simply the fuse or the final straw for many in the area. As pointed out in the film, government efforts to ameliorate many of these causative factors have failed due to the fact that funds earmarked for projects to improve the lives of the residents of the areas affected in the riots simply did not reach their target. Watching the film, one cannot ignore the fact that the probability of another similar uprising occurring somewhere in the United States is very real, unless something is done to address these causative factors.
To find out more about this documentary, as well as to learn more about other films by this filmmaker, please visit the YouTube channel of independent filmmaker David Zilkha at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE_7mtbqceg
About Dreams Apart: Urban Apartheid and Civil Collapse in the City of Angels and David Zilkha
Dreams Apart: Urban Apartheid and Civil Collapse in the City of Angels is a 42 minute documentary about the 1992 LA Riots in Los Angeles, California, made by independent filmmaker David Zilkha. The project involved over a year of research, including on-camera interviews with public figures as well as business owners and residents in the neighborhoods directly affected by the 1992 LA Riots.
David Zilkha is an independent filmmaker. Dreams Apart was made as part of a project by Zilkhas through The University of Southern California, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video. Zilkha also holds B.A. and M.A degrees from Oxford University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Zilkha has produced additional independent film projects, including the film short, Death and the Hypochondriac, as well as the documentary, Normal Conservative Rebels - Gilbert & George in China.