Zoot Suit Riots

Joseph Tovares | Documentary

2002 | 60 minutes | United States

In June 1943, the murder of José Diaz ignited a firestorm in Los Angeles. Revisit the violent events of the next summer, culminating in riots between servicemen and Latino youth.


In June 1943, the murder of 22-year-old José Diaz ignited a firestorm in Los Angeles. For sailors and many white Angelenos, Mexican-American teens – called zoot suiters – had come to symbolize all that was wrong with the city. Revisit the story of the trial and the violent events of the following summer, culminating in riots between servicemen and Latino youth. Narrated by Hector Elizondo.

Zoot Suit Riots was originally part of PBS' collection The U.S. Latino Experience.

Main credits

Tovares, Joseph (screenwriter)
Tovares, Joseph (television director)
Tovares, Joseph (television producer)
Elizondo, Hector (narrator)

Other credits

Edited by James Rutenbeck; cinematography, Michael Chin; music by Claudio Ragazzi.

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DIRECTOR: Joseph Tovares

NATIONALITY: United States

YEAR: 2002

GENRE: Documentary


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School, College, Adults



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