5. 'LA 92'
One of two in-depth looks back at the 1992 Rodney King case and its aftermath (you should also check out John Ridley's equally essential Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992), Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin's assemblage of archival footage retraces the steps that led to rioting and a national emergency. King being beaten on the side of the road, the smug looks on the faces of the cops, shop owners carrying guns, motorists being dragged from their cars, the community in tears and the City of Angels going up in flames – twenty-five years later, none of these images have lost their power to shock. It's both a potent reminder of what happens when systematic rot pushes people to boiling points and a cautionary tale of how racial inequality is not a thing of the past. Far from it.