Arts & Entertainment

Late Winter Riot Flicks for the Coming Summer Uprising

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

If this isn’t the winter of our discontent then John Steinbeck can die twice writing shitty novels in an igloo of frozen dicks. This winter has been a toxic cloud of ice fog belched from the bowels of Satan’s vagina. If it hasn’t been continent spanning blizzards, its been exotic and sexy new strains of Covid and vaccines that always seem to be just a week away from making my Lyme disease twerk just so I can eat a stack of goddamn pancakes again without worrying about murdering my ancient carcinogenic parents. I clearly don’t take enough meds for this shit and I take enough pills to choke Elvis. It’s in pre-apocalyptic times like these that you have to cling to the little things just to keep your friends Smith and Wesson out of your mouth. Kittens, springtime, and riots. Oh, the beautiful riots. That was the only thing that got me through 2020. That righteous summer of rage. And I have the sneaking suspicion that we’re in for another one.

That’s because the 2020 Summer Uprisings were bigger than George Floyd and the institutional racism that lynched him. It was about a whole damn nation pushed to the brink by a daughtering old police state that can lock up half of New Africa but can’t manage a goddamn virus. This nation needed to vent fire and it felt good, even to cripples like me who were too damn sick, even before Covid, to join in the festivities. We could shake our canes from our prison cells and shout ‘give em holy hell’ from behind the bars, and holy hell they did indeed give. So that’s why in these loathsome last days of Winter 2021, this veteran agoraphobic couch potato has picked ten movies to prep you for the next uprising. Most are about social upheaval in one shape or form. Some are merely about the factors that create this discord. All are must see cinema for anyone getting through the night with a brick in their hand. Enjoy!

La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)  “Its about society in free fall.” La Haine (French for ‘Hate’) may be the greatest riot movie since The Battle of Algiers because it deals so intimately with what inspires just such an uprising. In stark black and white, La Haine follows three young men through twenty hours between a riot started by the racially charged police murder of a friend and another shocking act of violence that will inevitably inspire the exact same results to repeat themselves all over again. The sense of nihilism is thicker than smog as these lifelong friends struggle not just to escape the ghetto but to escape a fate that seems as inevitable as the sun rising. In spite of the glib humor I use to cope with these issues, an uprising of any kind is nothing to take lightly. It all too often leads to a cycle of pointless violence if it isn’t held with the proper perspective on social justice. “Hatred breeds hatred” as Hubert says. Be careful not to fall into this trap and remember always that the abyss stares back.

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