US, 2016; 84 mins
What can we learn about a society from the way that it treats its lowest ranks? In this brilliantly inventive nonfiction essay, filmmaker Theo Anthony explores the catastrophic failures and prejudices of urban society via the life of the humble brown Norway rat in the city of Baltimore. Featuring a wide-ranging and surprising collection of zealous back-alley rat-hunters, street-wise exterminators, mid-20th century scientists, and racist city planners, Anthony has crafted “an ethnographic and sociological nonfiction horror film” (Filmmaker Magazine) with “a distinctive authorial voice … in debt to his mentor Werner Herzog” (The Hollywood Reporter). Named one of the ten best undistributed movies of 2016, Indiewire.com called Rat Film “fresh and inventive,” and “a striking combination of analysis and creative innovation that communes with the past and present.” Courtesy of Cinema Guild. Co-presented with Run of Life.
Theo Anthony (b. 1989) is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker currently based in Baltimore, MD. His work been featured by the The Atlantic, Vice, BBC World News, and other international media outlets. His films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, SXSW, and Anthology Film Archives. In 2015, he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. His first feature, RAT FILM, debuted at the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival to critical acclaim, with Richard Brody of the New Yorker calling it “one of the most extraordinary, visionary inspirations in the recent cinema”. RAT FILM will be distributed domestically by Cinema Guild and internationally by Visit Films.