Rat Film | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 82 minutes · 2016

In this debut feature, documentary maker Theo Anthony crafts a convincing analogy between the rat infestation of Baltimore and the issues of race and class that also afflict the city. The movie begins with a dry observation of a rat stuck inside a trash can—rats can jump an average of 32 inches, the monotonous female narrator explains, and Baltimore trash cans are 34 inches high—and the image neatly introduces Anthony's theme: how the structure of a place can stack the odds against those living inside. The metaphor may seem obvious, but Anthony's blend of well-researched scientific and historical background with deep existential questioning recalls Werner Herzog's best work, presenting a fresh take on a centuries-old subject with poetry and urgency.
Director: Theo Anthony
Writer: Theo Anthony
Producer: Sebastian Pardo and Riel Roch Decter

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