Browsing through the list of films scheduled to screen at the Art of the Real Festival in New York City (a survey of what the programmers deem the most vital and innovative voices in nonfiction and hybrid filmmaking), which kicks off on April 20th, this one caught my eye.
From director Theo Anthony comes the critically-acclaimed feature documentary titled “Rat Film,” which is almost exactly what its title suggests it’s about – rats; although rats in Baltimore specifically; but wait… there’s more!
As the Art of the Real Festival summarizes the film in the press release: “Balancing a cultural history of rats in Baltimore, with portraits of the city’s present-day rat catchers, Theo Anthony presents a damning account of entrenched racism and (sometimes questionable) scientific research ordered by governments and financial institutions.”
Curious, right? Rats and entrenched racism, as well as related government sanctioned “scientific research,” all tackled in a film that critics have summarized as not easily classified, “dense but accessible,” a “sociological, non-fiction horror film.” Maybe what we have here is a different kind of “Get Out” movie which I’m certainly interested in seeing.
The film, which features a “hypnotic” voiceover by Maureen Jones, and music by Baltimore native Dan Deacon, connects multitudinous injustices with footage of Google Maps navigation, archival materials, interviews, poetry, and a tour of Frances Glessner Lee’s “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” forensic dioramas.
Reads like a potential mind-destabilizer; but in a good way.
Interested New Yorkers should plan to see the film at the Art of the Real Festival which takes place at Film Society Lincoln Center, from April 20 to May 2, 2017.
Check out a teaser below: