• Sun-Tue, Oct 27-29

    LET THE FIRE BURN

    Dir. Jason Osder, USA, 2013, 95 min., NR, DCP
    Official Website

    Part of Doctober

    On Mon, Oct 28, after the 7:00pm screening, Richard Pitt, associate professort of sociology at Vanderbilt University, will lead a discussion.

    In this astonishingly gripping documentary, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied row house. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of 11 people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “...let the fire burn.” Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.

    “There have been many documentaries comprised entirely out of archival footage, but few as powerfully and masterfully structured as this one…Osder creates a visually textured and fascinating piece of storytelling that steers clear of editorialization and manipulation by allowing the content to speak for itself.” —Zeba Blay, indieWIRE