On the heels of the recent announcement that National Geographic Documentary Films’ “LA 92” will have exclusive theater engagements in NY and LA starting this Friday, April 28, and will premiere on the network on Sunday, April 30 at 9/8c, the archival footage-focused look back at the controversial Rodney King trial and subsequent protests, violence and looting of Los Angeles, will be accompanied by two companion pieces, the network announced today: “Riot,” a one-hour special airing the day before “LA 92” on Saturday, April 29, at 9/8c, which will provide firsthand accounts of the events in Los Angeles in April 1992 by those who lived it, helping also to shed light on the evolution and future of human protest; and “The ‘LA 92’ Facebook Live Aftershow,” moderated by acclaimed journalist Soledad O’Brien and featuring key LA riot eyewitnesses, which will take place Sunday, April 30, at 11/10c, on National Geographic Television’s Facebook page.
In 1992, Los Angeles erupted in turmoil. The frustration between African American and the Los Angeles Police Department reached a tipping point with the acquittal of four officers who had been caught on tape using excessive force. Riots that reflected this public outrage ensued. Although at their core these riots were a protest for equality, this meaning was lost in the destruction and chaos. “Riot” will feature stories from and interviews with key eyewitnesses and spokespeople who provide insight into the city’s race relations and how the city made it to the “point of no return”: from world-renowned graffiti artist Kelly Graval (aka RISK) and hip-hop star Rakaa from Dilated Peoples to former LAPD Detective Tom Lange, civil rights lawyer Connie Rice and LA Times columnist Sandy Banks.
Psychologist Abigail Marsh and sociologists Fran Buntman and Antwan Jones will use history and biology to examine why some people demonstrate their frustrations in the form of a riot while others use organized protest. With human rights issues consistently making headlines and social media giving every citizen public forums in which to share his or her opinions, these experts will attempt to answer the looming question: Are we on the precipice of more disastrous riots in the future?
Immediately following “LA 92’s” premiere, National Geographic will host a Facebook Live aftershow on National Geographic Channel’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/natgeotvUS). Moderated by Soledad O’Brien, the program will include 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 & CEO of Faith and Community Empowerment; Karen Slade, Vice President/General Manager of KJLH Radio; and longtime Los Angeles journalist Bob Brill.
The Facebook Live will stream from multiple locations in south Los Angeles and Koreatown. Viewers will have the opportunity to engage in the discussion, ask questions of the panelists and comment in real time.
“LA 92” is produced by Lightbox’s two-time Academy Award winner Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire”) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (“American High”) with Academy Award-winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (“Undefeated”), and featuring original music from Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (“OA,” “Enemy”).
For more information on LA 92, visit natgeotv.com/la92.