2012 Victoria Film Festival Guest Review: Better This World

Doc more akin to action flick — Review by Bryan Skinner, Executive Director at CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers

Bryan Skinner — Executive Director at CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers.

Bryan Skinner — Executive Director at CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers.

Better This World — Better This World tells the dramatic story of David McKay and David Crowder, two angry young men from Midland, Texas who went to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul MN., and ended up facing domestic terrorism charges.  The narrative and characterizations unfold very skilfully, with tension more akin to an action thriller than a documentary. The themes that emerge of betrayal, justice, and the role of informants in law enforcement, are extremely timely and interestingly handled.

While I found some of the techniques manipulative, the editing is excellent. The use of recreations, which can be a dreadful choice in many instances, works well here, and assists the story’s flow tremendously. The use of surveillance camera angles, as well as the excellent sound design, also help to heighten the tension and paranoia, creating a sense of the interior world of the radical activist.

While the directors’ decision to concentrate on the emotional and personal fallout of the boys’ decision to make molotov cocktails was probably a sound one, I found myself wanting a more thorough exploration and analysis of Black Bloc tactics as a phenomenon. By concentrating on presenting McKay and  Crowder as naïve but wholesome all-American boys, the filmmakers avoided directly associating them with the Black Bloc, although this seemed obvious to me and worthy of some examination.

Better This World is a well-made film that succeeds in exploring the limits of friendship’s bonds in the pressure cooker of political and legal intrigue. Love and Rage indeed. Recommended.

 

Sun. • Feb. 5 • Cap 6 Th5 • Noon

Thurs. • Feb. 9 • Cap 6 Th5 • 9:45pm

Directors: Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway

USA • 2011 • 94 min • DCP

B.C. premiere

 

Review by Bryan Skinner — Executive Director at CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Tomo Vranjes, a Greater Victoria musician and longtime fan of late rock guitar icon Eddie Van Halen, joins artist Paul Archer behind the latter’s Fort Street gallery. Archer, whose airbrushed paintings of rock greats have made him many connections in recent years, painted a likeness of Van Halen following the guitarist’s death last month from cancer. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria artist’s king-sized tribute to Eddie Van Halen draws on personal connection

Paul Archer had an up close and personal day with the legendary guitarist in 1980

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

I-Hos Gallery manager Ramona Johnson shows some of the paddles available at the retail outlet. Photo by Terry Farrell
I-Hos Gallery celebrates 25 years of promoting First Nation artwork

K’ómoks First Nation-based outlet has art from all over the country

Bard to Broadway Theatre Society may stage shows outdoors next summer. (PQB News photo file)
Qualicum Beach’s Bard to Broadway group may stage shows outdoors

Theatre society plans smaller productions due to ongoing pandemic

A new short film festival called MORVENFEST is encouraging B.C. secondary students to step into the world of film during their Christmas break. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
New film festival gives Victoria students exciting opportunity

MORVENFEST is open to all B.C. secondary students over Christmas break

Most Read