On a hot August night, not all that long ago – and for the next four consecutive nights – the good citizens of Toronto went crazy and ignited the largest riot in the city’s history – and one of the largest anti-Greek riots in the world.
Why did it happen? Why the Greeks? What were the consequences? Why, until now, has this incredible incident been forgotten? Incorporating detailed interviews with historians and family members of those affected, Violent August explores the causes of the riot and chronicles the events in detail. Using actual archival photos, newspaper reports and representational newsreel footage, the documentary brings the people, places and incidents vividly to life.
Violent August reveals the social conditions and motives of the enraged WW1 veterans who started the riots and the position of the small community of Greek immigrants and restaurant operators who unwittingly became the lightening rod for the violence. The film provides a powerful and shocking example of how a festering climate of racism and resentment became a ticking time bomb primed to explode at the slightest provocation.