Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Informant (2012) DOC NYC 2012

Brandon Darby and some Molotov Cocktails

This is the story of Brandon Darby. He went from turning into an activist in the wake Hurricane Katrina to an FBI informant investigating some of the people who looked up to him. It's a troubling tale and in the film Darby tries to explain why he did what he did.

The story begins in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One of Darby's friends was believed trapped in the flooded city so he decided to leave Texas to try and get him. Moved by what he saw in New Orleans he stayed in the city to help people try to rebuild their homes. Darby was launched into to the forefront of activism, a role he took seriously. However after a trip to Venezuela left him uncertain he found himself involved with a man, he said was trying to supply money and arms to the Palestinians. Seeking to prevent other people from getting mixed up with the man he turned informant. This spiraled to Darby getting involved in the case of several protesters arrested for making and possessing Molotov cocktails.

Down the rabbit hole look at a man who shifted allegiances and sides as it seemed to suit him. It's an absolutely engrossing film that one watches with a kind of morbid fascination since, if you're like me and  don't know the story, you find it branching off in all sorts of interesting directions. More intriguingly one would think that over the course of an 82 minute film you would get a handle on the central character and the one telling the story, but one doesn't. Darby's character seems forever just our of reach, and as a result you want to chase after him even more.

Who is this guy?

I have no idea. Part of me wants to believe that he is a charlatan and conniver but at the same time it's entirely possible that his version of the truth is real and that the guys convicted for possessing the Molotov cocktails were serious (they insist that they weren't).

I feel like this film has completely upset the way I think. Black is white, white is black. What exactly happened? And as I said above, who is this guy? I have no answers, only more questions

There is much to ponder in this extremely compelling film that sucks you in and drags you along in away that few films I've seen this year have done so.

Buy a ticket, take a ride, go down the rabbit hole.

The film plays Sunday at 9:15pm at the IFC Center and again on the 13th at 11am.

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