The film is at once a masterclass in editing and montage, as well as a damning critique of a society seemingly determined to eradicate itself. Like Des Morts, Renan and Schrader’s film gathers an incredible power over the course of its 90-minute runtime, made all the more unsettling when one considers the current state of American gun violence and the ongoing racial, judicial, and regulatory debates surrounding the issue.
It was a challenge to my taste. My immediate response was to dismiss its linear narrative imposed on a sequence of events only broadly connected to violence and death. Yet the images and testimony in this slickly edited film were starkly compelling. I could connect the film to the ‘Mondo’ strand of exploitation cinema popularised by Italian filmmakers Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, but its engagement with the taboo was more relentless and less jaunty than these forebears.