SXSW 2017 Talking Movies


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SXSW 2017

Talking Movies reports from Austin in Texas and looks back at some of the highlights of this year's South by Southwest Film Festival.


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Time now on BBC News for Talking Movies.

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Hello and welcome to Texas in our special South by Southwest Film

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Festival addition. In today's programme, the opening night film

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from a visionary American director. Did eat live up to expectation? Most

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girls out there have the same formula. This has a different one.

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The action big budget films also came to town. It takes them on a

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ride. It is designed to be seen big and loud. It totally normalises the

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image of the average American Muslim and the average American Mexican

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immigrant. And Melissa Leo playing and activist. The question of

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religious freedom. And storytelling devices. All that and more in this

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special South by Southwest Film Festival addition of Talking Movies.

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Austin has been enveloped by South by Southwest Film Festival, a

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sprawling interactive media music and film festival that overwhelms

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the city. This year, 130 features were showcased. South by Southwest

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Film Festival opened amid great excitement with stars arriving to

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the premiere of song the song. It is very much a local tale involving in

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the correct that lovers in the backdrop of the music scene.

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Struggling Song writers. I played somebody who is trying to find some

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sort of transcendence and he does that through sexual encounters,

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drugtaking, any heightened experience. It is somebody who is

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very manipulative but also somebody who is a little bit lost himself. A

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very powerful, very wealthy but very destructive, self-destructive

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person. Song the song has many of the landmarks of its director. The

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story that is more impressionistic than leapfrog. For some it had an

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intoxicating effects. He is one of the most unique, original humans I

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have ever met. He is so brilliant and just his own person. This is one

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of the most unique experience I have ever had. He makes beautiful films.

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What is interesting about Jerry is he makes them differently from the

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usual format. Most films have the same formula and Terence Malik has a

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different formula. Terence Malik does not do interviews. He has

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become a mythical figure. He withdrew from filmmaking in the

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1970s. Since the tree of life, his most recent films have not brought

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him much claim. Would this restore his reputation? Critics for the most

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part hand it. -- panned. What is it you do? More enthusiasm for the

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Hollywood studio movies. Baby Driver was well liked. Aislinn Derbez as

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the getaway driver. It is really fun for everyone. Very fun movie feature

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movie, a date movie, a movie he can go with your friends. Baby Driver is

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made by British direct Edgar Wright. It is something he cannot live

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without and that is the movie you see. Also banning some decent

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reviews was Atomic Blonde in which Charlize Theron plays a lethal MI6

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James Bond spy on assignment. The Room, dubbed the Citizen Kane of

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current movies, brought credit to its star producer and director James

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Franco. The narrative films are a bit of a mishmash but several had

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immigrant themes. A portrait of a young Nigerian American working on

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Wall Street weighed down by obligations to his immigrant family.

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In telling the story of this particular guy who I found

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fascinating - at once an American on who dreams of artwork mobility, and

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African, an African-American. You get the experience through that

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particular lens, the Niger in America. And finally, the story of a

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Muslim Lesbian immigration lawyer whose love for a Mexican American

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woman and her interest in wrestling puts it in conflict with a very

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traditional Pakistani mother. In the light of the rising views, her film

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has been perceived in political terms. I was making a story about

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Muslims and Mexicans before Donald Trump made it popular to talk about

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Muslims and Mexicans in the same sentence. I set out to tell a story

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that reflected the people I know. The truth I know, the love that I

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see. Now in a bit more detail. This year there were documentaries about

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blacks being shot by police. This seems a routine aspect of life in

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America today. One focuses on one particular incident. Shots fired. In

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Milwaukee and Wisconsin April 2013 31-year-old is napping in a public

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park. Citizens call police complaining he looked suspicious. An

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altercation between him and a police officer ended in him being shot to

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death. He was diagnosed schizophrenic. Direct Eric Young

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found elements of this story troubling so he made contact with

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Hamilton's family. I work as a journalist in Milwaukee. I travel

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all around. I had done some stories on social activism so I knew a lot

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of the main players in social movements and went to one of the

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rallies at the Hamilton families had. They knew and could vouch for

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me. I kind of trying to explain. They just thought I was another

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newsgroup but I kept coming to all the rallies and talking to them more

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and they got a better sense of what I was tried to do. Do you have any

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reservations about being a white person telling a story rooted in

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African-American context. Am I missing something? Were our my blind

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spots? We tried to consult with people and do the best you can but

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it is definitely something that crossed my mind and it was a

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concern. It is a documentary that shows more than a family 's grief.

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In the film, frustration built as a city of the walk it takes months at

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a time to respond to these tragedy officially. During that period the

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family became more politically active. Our film is unique cause we

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were really on the ground right after this happened following the

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family, trying to reset the narrative in the media about their

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loved one and about fighting for justice and this family is really

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unique in that they are kind of leaving the social movement in

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Milwaukee. They got community members to come out once a week and

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they would talk about what the plan was for the week. In the film, we

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see the formation of the coalition for Justice as they rally against

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police and even quarrelled with others over political tactics. The

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director says his agenda was less political and more about the

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training and family driven to action by the loss of a loved one. My main

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thing was really to show from families Perspex if because it is

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easy for people to sit at an judge this family. -- perspective. If you

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got to know this family anybody can relate to this family. Nate and

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Maria are really good people and a lot of fun and even despite the

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tragedy they maintained a sense of humour and were able to have a good

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time. What would you do if that happened? Given that there are

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numerous instances of police shooting television airways are

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often seek with these tragedies and some believe the public has become

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numb. And a documentary make any difference? Nate Hamilton believes

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in the films ability to impact individuals more than anything else.

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Everything in this film will show our self expression and the love we

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have for our family and the love that has grown from the community.

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Seeing this film you can say I have seen this family, I can see me in

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this family, I can see myself marching in protest and talking to

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officials the same way this family was with courage, dignity and

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self-respect. The story raises question about how the Milwaukee

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police department handle this racially charged case. The film has

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topicality because at the end of last month, the new Attorney General

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Jeff Sessions indicated the Federal government will pull back on

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investigating police department that may have violated the civil rights

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of minorities. Eric Young says he finds Jeff Sessions rhetoric

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terrifying. He has only been in the White House for a few weeks but a

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ready president Trump with his policies is changing the way the

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rest of the world sees America. Deceptions of Americans and how they

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match with reality. Mainland looks at these perceptions. Her

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documentary follows to Chinese teenagers, they travel to the US to

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study in the State of Maine. They are part of a bigger phenomenon of

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economic leap privileged students from China on study of broad

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programmes in the US. There is an enormous wave of Chinese students

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coming to the US and to other parts of the world who seek higher

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education so they can experience American culture and learn the

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language. The goal is to go to college in the US and afterwords it

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is more of an open? . Do they go back or stay? Mainland touches on

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the differences between Chinese and American culture is. It is the

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subject matter familiar to the direct Miao Wang,, because she moved

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to the US when she was 13. How happiness varies between the two

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countries. How the Chinese happiness is different from American

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happiness. In America a lot of times people go to a sports game and feel

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really happy but in China most people just do not... That has to be

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some kind of basic, fundamental security... Like financial security

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before people can really feel like they can allow themselves to feel

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happy and I think in some ways she appreciates levels of the

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American... That sort of carefree in S. Carefree nurse. It shows that it

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is a sobering experience for the students to come to America.

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They had this idealistic American dream which is you can probably

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become wealthy, have a nice life here he is. But in a lot of ways,

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they are worse than China. Mainland took three years to make and was

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shot in the US and China. The director lets the visuals speak for

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themselves. At South by Southwest, it won an award for Excellence in

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Observational Humour. I watched a famous movie called High School

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Musical and decided to study in America. One Austin resident who

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loomed large was Mao Glenn Murray Ohare, and activists atheist. -- an

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activist atheist. She was once lauded as the most hated woman in

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America. Now there is a movie about her rise and very lurid fall. The

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film shows her as a larger than life figure. Her actor applauds her

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achievements. In the early 1960s single-handedly with the help of her

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young son got Christian prayer out of public schools in the United

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States of America by taking it to The Supreme Court where it was found

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to be indeed an infringement on the Constitution. You have just ruined a

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television show. She became a media star and was a difficult women

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according to many accounts off. -- woman. She had an interesting

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relationship with her father. He was too religious and she needed

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something to strike out against. As she got older and became more and

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more committed to the notion and got more and more informed about all of

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it, she also went on later in her life to form the American Atheist

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Association. The director said he was interested in the dynamics of

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her family life. I wanted to tell a story about a woman who had a very

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complex relationship with her family. A person who really believed

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in something and was seduced by the limelight and greed and ended up

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pushing away many of those people that loved her the most. Hello. A

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former employee was her downfall. Knowledgeable that the American

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atheist empire had sizeable funds, she saw an opportunity. She was

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kidnapped along with her son and granddaughter and they were all

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murdered by him in 1985. He was a career criminal. He was fascinating

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and deeply charming. And I think very much they had this rather

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extraordinary and bizarre relationship. O'Hare. And her

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relatives were mutilated and buried and it was indeed a gruesome. There

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were documentaries made about her, but this new film is a fictionalised

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account. Liberties were taken, but the director says a lot was true. A

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lot comes directly from interviews. We are lucky to have quite a few

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books that she wrote and plenty of articles and TV appearances to pull

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from. Religious conservatives who believe there is a place for prayer

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in public schools probably will not rush to see this movie, but to her

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supporters, this film shows her achievements still have great

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topical relevance. The question of religious freedom has come up again

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in our world, I don't think it actually died away. I think it gives

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pause to many of the things she says and what she says in the film. She

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is not asking people to stop their religion, she is not asking people

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to believe what she believes, she does not want to be rolled over into

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someone else's belief and me to do things according to someone else's

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belief. That is it. And after all, that is truly the American way.

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Nobody can hurt me. As a festival, South by Southwest is jampacked with

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corporate branding. But, some subversive works to emerge from

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other commercial infrastructure. For example, this year was Rat Film, a

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truly idiosyncratic documentary which defies easy categorisation.

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Tristan Daley reports. In his first documentary feature, Rat Film, Mr

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Anthony uses the rat to explore different topics, like housing the

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scammer nation, and current methods of pest control. -- discrimination.

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It takes place in Baltimore and uses the rat as a tool. I don't have

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strong feelings for the rat, but I do believe in the rat as a vessel

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for ideas and histories of people. That is what I am interested in, not

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actually the rat. Anything that cuts across boundaries and moves people.

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I could have made a film about garbage routes. Anything but

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transverse is distance and people and geography has the potential to

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create really strange connections. -- transverses. The film shows how

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the scammer nation contributed to the rise of rat populations in poor

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neighbourhoods in Baltimore. Videogame perspectives showed the

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perspective of the rats. The rat is a theme throughout. But critics

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could say it lacks coherence. There are so many ideas. I don't want to

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be confined to a mythical linear narrative that will give catharsis

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and resolution at the end. Anything that I try to push back on, that

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expectation of solution and a payoff and coming out of the film learning

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what we have to do next. I think the most effective a film can be is that

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you come out feeling radically different and not knowing what to

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do. And that is the most important step, I think. Open interpretation

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seems to be Theo Anthony's biggest priority. Watching Rat Film, it is

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easy to think that the animals are being used to show something

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profound. Fight he says there is no singular interpretation. It is

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whatever you bring to it. If you want to see people running around

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Baltimore killing or helping rats, it has that. If you want to learn

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about how a city is mapped and modelled and built, you can do that

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as well. The film premiered to positive reviews. It seems fitting

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that this should screen at South by Southwest, which is known for its

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mixed media brand. And any hopes this home-grown project will for a

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wrench into the expectations of the audience about what a documentary

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film should be. Well, that brings this special South

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by Southwest Film Festival edition of Talking Movies to a close. We

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hope you enjoyed the show. You can always find us on line and at

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Facebook. From me and the rest of the Talking Movies crew, it is

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goodbye, as we leave you with one of the music video is shown here at

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South by Southwest. -- videos. #Girl, you're too young, don't give

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up on life. Don't, don't give up on life. Don't stop believing#. #Girl,

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you're too young, don't give up on life. Don't, don't give up on life.

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Don't stop believing#. The cloud has slowly crept

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across the UK through the day Not rain for all, but this

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was the view through Friday There will be some rain around

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for many of us this weekend,

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Talking Movies reports from Austin in Texas and looks back at some of the highlights of this year's South by Southwest Film Festival.