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Intolerance No More - Film review


Film review by: Brian Penn


Claudius knew the score in Hamlet when he said that sorrows come not in single spies but in battalions. Coronavirus and climate change is more than enough for Mother Nature’s crowded plate. But racism is a sorrow that clings to our lives like a running sore and shows no sign of abatement. Presented as part of the ‘I Will Tell’ film festival, Intolerance No More is a strident portrayal of racism fuelled by the power of social media.

Lucretia Whittaker (Paulette Patterson) is an African American woman rebuilding her life after a spell in prison. She is stopped in her car by police officer Joel Murphy (Drew Wicks). A struggle ensues and shots ring out as Lucretia flees the scene in panic. Opportunistic witness JJ (Daniel Chung) films the aftermath as he administers first aid to the stricken officer. TV news anchor Kate Hensen (Helen Kennedy) is straining at the leash as the story breaks; but is continually thwarted by Lola (Lizza Monet) who has two million followers on her own YouTube channel. Meanwhile, police officer Sarah (Christina Morrell) is determined to capture her partner’s attacker whatever the cost. Bodycam, Dashcam and social media turn the investigation into a live event as the net slowly closes.

The film is bang on point considering racial tension in America and growing clamour of the Black Lives Matter movement. It lays bare how easily the authorities lose control and struggle to respond with a proportionate response. It seems clear we are unwitting participants in a huge reality TV show where anyone can bounce images around for public consumption. We might assume that pictures don’t lie but truth is all about context. Conventional broadcasters no longer have control over information; the real power lies in the hands of anyone with a mobile. It’s sound film making shot in semi-documentary style with black and white images for authenticity. It’s a disturbing but essentially truthful view of the life we lead today.

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