Alabama, 1946. S.E.Branch, a Southern racist and Travis Wilkerson’s great-grandfather, murdered Bill Spann, a black man. The murder has become hidden family lore and when Wilkerson sets out to unravel the mystery, he encounters obstacle upon obstacle, destroyed records and everyone refusing to talk.
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În timp ce un regizor investighează un caz de omucidere de către străbunicul regizorului, istoria familiei lui rezonează cu crime inerente în SUA precum violențe feroci ale pistoalii și rasism neclintit care e înrădăcinat în istoria acestei țări. "V-ați întrebat cine a tras cu pușcă?" e un film bîntuit ca coșmar. // 1人の監督が自身の曽祖父が犯した殺人事件を調査するうち、家族の歴史がアメリカに内在する罪――銃による苛烈な暴力やこの国の歴史に根差した頑強な人種差別――と共鳴する。今作は脳裏に焼きつく悪夢のような映画だ。
I felt this was an unapologetically biased and at times bigoted treatment of a highly conjectural history. I don't like thinly veiled propaganda of any political stripe as it has become too common. I found the style of pompous and narrow-minded narration ruined what could have been a thought provoking film.
I really respect the filmmaker for making such a personal movie. I found the narration to be incredibly interesting, even if the voiceover was a bit too dramatic sometimes. Visually, it isn’t an amazing movie, but I approached it like Derek Jarman’s Blue. That is to say, I paid main attention to the narration and thought of the movie more as a kind of investigative piece rather than a film... Still, amazing movie!
The problem here is that there is no evolution in the thesis designed by Travis - it ends exactly where it began - and the attempts at investigating Alabama's past don't rise above the anecdotical. Only that final shot, those 10 minutes of the reddish highway, offers some redeeming facet. That takes the film into the realm of pure, stylized observation: history as a moving threat.
A fascinating exploration of history, both far in the past and much more recent, that looks at racism and racially-motivated abuse and murder. Things could be greatly improved in the presentation, including the tone of the narrator, but the unfolding story is gripping enough to make up for that.
Excruciating, navel gazing, irksome NPR voice-over narration aside - actually, there is no aside or escape from it, unfortunately - as there's a good premise here that with the self-indulgence toned down by several degrees would've been more fitting to the gravity of the material.