Team: Haley Willis, Evan Hill, Natalie Reneau, Drew Jordan, Cora Engelbrecht, Christiaan Triebert, Stella Cooper, Malachy Browne, David Botti, Mark Scheffler, Nancy Donaldson Gauss
Day of Rage is not a traditional documentary. It was not filmed by cinematographers, but by hundreds of rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Scenes are not directed, but visceral and pure.
So many cameras filmed the day that the documentary is cinematically constructed with wide shots, medium shots and close-ups, as if it were directed with a crew. The raw videos give us an unfiltered window into the mindset, motivations and grievances of the rioters as they carry out the attack. And the thousands of hours of footage provide more documentation than any on-the-ground team could wish for.
For close to six months, the Visual Investigations team at The Times collected and studied these videos. We catalogued where and when videos were taken, synchronized key moments filmed from different angles, tracked instigators, and meticulously pieced together critical sequences of events to tell the story of January 6th in its totality.
What Day of Rage reveals is a domino effect of political disinformation inciting violence that engulfs the nation’s Capitol. Organized actors feed off the energy of the crowd. A shove quickly escalates to a mob mentality gripping the crowd and igniting multiple points of attack.
TTeam: The unfiltered commentary of participants offers windows into their mindsets and immerses the viewer into scenes. A prominent throughline is the incongruence of rioters who say they support police officers but assault them anyway. How rioters parroted the words of former-President Trump as justification for their attack, convinced they had every right to break the law.
A 3-D model of the Capitol explains the real-world effect of failures by police and intelligence agencies to heed warnings, thereby placing officers in harm’s way. It shows the key junctures where rioters took the building and the feet and seconds that separated the mob from lawmakers and their staffers.
Ultimately, Day of Rage shows the fragility of democracy.