Rotterdam, True/False, SXSW, Florida, Maryland, Art of the Real, Docaviv, Doclisboa, Vancouver, Mar del Plata, Torino
A provocative essay about Baltimore’s rodents emerges as a simultaneous cultural anthropology of race and class.
Anthony’s film serves as a contemplation not only of the infestation of the city by rats – checking in with rat killers patrolling the streets, presenting crude video game footage approximating a rat’s perspective of the city, and offering observations about scientific rat studies – but also expand beyond this to consider the “people problem” in Baltimore, linking historical urban planning that segregated based on race and economics with approaches to pest control. Taking a page out of mentor Werner Herzog’s playbook, Anthony presents these tangential but more-or-less connected threads via a detached narrator, keeping the viewer engaged with curious looks at crime-scene dioramas and strange virtual reality asides, alongside investigative journalism and history lessons. The result is an original project that works more often than it doesn’t, and which remains ever-intriguing.