Assassination Nation – TIFF18

Assassination Nation is the second film by Sam Levinson (son of legend Barry Levinson). I hadn’t seen his first film (Another Happy Day) but I’m definitely going to check it out after. There is a clear and specific voice in this film that comes solely from its direction.

First off, let’s acknowledge how this film is going to piss a lot of people off. And it knows it, it also knows it quick, and teaches you extremely early. The film begins with a very quick trigger warning, and during the quick cut montage, you will know how you’re going to feel.

The film switches to cell phone footage, and split screens but somehow it works. This world of Salem is so well realized that you do not blink an eye. And it terrifies you that this is the state of our world. Even though it’s fictionalized, and yes, it goes fairly extreme, it’s in a state of realism. Our realism.

While obviously, the title being Red, White and Blue is a reference to the states and how society isn’t that far off. At the same time, it feels like a reference to Jean-Luc Godard who uses the same font and loves to use the colours, as they are the French colours. It feels like a mixture of two insane French auteurs, Godard and Gasper Noe. Insane, absurd, occasionally angry but it all works together.

The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. It is a joy to watch. One sequence is shot from outside is very reminscient of Gary Fukunaga’s work on True Detective. It is utter brilliance.

The cast are badass and amazing. Each one brings their own personas and they only work together to elevate one another. Never to diminish the others.

This film is a fucking war cry. It is an exhilarating non-stop thrill ride that will electrify you to a state of anger. It is also insanely empowering and I can’t wait until women see this and get as angry as they deserve to be.

In a post-#MeToo world, men have rightfully been in the wrong, and since then, more men than ever have realized how wrong they have been and attempted to do better. This film teaches everyone to unite together to do better. Always stand together to win these powerful battles.

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