WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles, the nation continues to find itself in a cycle of heated discussion over racial oppression, police brutality and socioeconomic inequality.
This was particularly evident on Sunday, April 30, during the world-broadcast debut of National Geographic’s documentary LA 92 — a powerful look back at the controversial uprising. The documentary, which has been hailed by critics as a “must see film” that is “seething with emotions,” sparked significant online engagement during its broadcast, trending nationally on Twitter and through a Facebook Live after-show event.
In an effort to further the national dialogue on the topic, National Geographic announced it would make the film LA 92 available free through online, video on demand and streaming platforms. “National Geographic believes in the power of storytelling to change the world,” explained Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production for National Geographic. “The parallels between the racially charged climate of Los Angeles in 1992 and more recent occurrences of racial injustice demands our attention. We hope this film will encourage reflection and debate as the country wrestles with these very real and very relevant conflicts.”
LA 92 will be made widely available today through May 11 on streaming platforms including Natgeotv.com, video on demand (through cable provider set-top boxes), cable provider sites and apps, Nat Geo TV apps (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Roku, Android phones and tablets, Xbox One and 360, Samsung Connected TVs), iTunes, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Sony Playstation, GooglePlay and more.
Leading up to, during and immediately following the broadcast premiere of LA 92, viewers took to social media to weigh in on the complex conversation. The hashtag #LA92 trended nationally at No. 4 on Twitter with influencers such as @ShaunKing, @JamilahLemieux and @AprilDRyan contributing to a substantive conversation that carried through much of the night.
Immediately following LA 92’s premiere, National Geographic hosted a Facebook Live after-show on National Geographic Channel’s Facebook page. Moderated by Soledad O’Brien and streamed from multiple locations in south Los Angeles and Koreatown, the Facebook Live program gave viewers the opportunity to engage in the discussion, ask questions of the panelists and comment in real time. The program also included such guests as Congresswoman Karen Ruth Bass of California’s 37th Congressional District; Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic Hope (a civil rights group based in south LA); Christafire Lundy, a resident of south LA; Hyepin Im, president and CEO of Faith and Community Empowerment; Karen Slade, vice president/general manager of KJLH Radio; and longtime LA journalist Bob Brill.
Produced by two-time Oscar winner Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire”) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (“American High”) and directed by Oscar winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (“Undefeated”), the film looks at the events of 1992 from a multitude of vantage points, bringing a fresh perspective to a pivotal moment that reverberates to this day. Using no narration or “talking head” interviews, the film reconstructs the tumultuous events that unfolded in 1992 by exclusively using archival footage including broadcast news footage, radio reports, police files and personal home videos.
LA 92 premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, followed by a limited theatrical release in New York, LA and London and the television broadcast premiere on National Geographic on Sunday, April 30, in the United States, and continues to roll out globally across 171 countries and 45 languages.
Additionally, LA 92 recently completed a multicity screening tour with stops including Baltimore, Charlotte, St. Louis and Atlanta, as well as a special screening at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. In each location, directors Lindsay and Martin were joined by community influencers and leaders to discuss issues of racial oppression, police brutality and socioeconomic inequality depicted in the film. National Geographic also partnered with 21st Century Fox to provide free screenings of the film to colleges and universities nationwide executed by Picture Motion and created a free discussion guide to accompany the film developed by Journeys In Film.
About National Geographic Documentary Films:
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.