Consisting entirely of archival footage shot by the United States military or broadcast on television, Sierra Pettengill examines the historical and social context of Army-built model towns called Riotsvilles, where military and police were trained to respond to civil disorder. The film examines the use and abuse of power and state sanctioned violence, the limits of reform, and systemic racism and the lasting legacy of a policy that would allow a place such as Riotsville to exist.
- Charlene Modeste (Narrator)
- Tobi Haslett
- Jamila Wignot
- Leandros Ntounis
- Jace Clayton
- Arch + Bow Films
Trailer and photos
Sierra Pettengill was a Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow, a fellow at the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, and is a board member of Screen Slate. She has also worked as an archival researcher for the likes of Jarmusch and Adam Pendleton.
Her work, much of it all-archival, includes Town Hall (co-directed with Jamila Wignot) about the emergent Tea Party movement for PBS, and 2017’s The Reagan Show, which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival before airing on CNN. Her archival short The Rifleman premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
- Riotsville, U.S.A. 2022
- The Rifleman (short) 2021
- The Business of Thought: A Recorded History of Artists Space (short) 2020
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