Wednesday, March 6, 2013


By D.E.Levine

A New Directors/New Films 2013 Selection

A thriller based on the 2002 "Beltway Murders" or sniper attacks in and around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, this film is extremely disturbing.

After introducing the subject through news and surveillance video and 911 recordings, the scene shifts to the island of Antigua where the relationship between the lead characters, a teenage boy named Lee (Tequan Richmond) and an older man named John (Isaiah Washington).

Lee's mother has left to take work elsewhere and has time stretches on and he becomes bored, Lee strikes up a friendship with John, an American who has removed his three young daughters from the United States in violation of a custody agreement.

Without a father figure, Lee is highly susceptible to John's "life is unfair" remarks and drilling.  Taking the boy back to Tacoma, Washington with him, John continues to vent against his ex-wife, who has taken his daughters and moved to somewhere unknown.

Taken along to the woods for a target shooting session, Lee turns out to be a natural marksman.  John intimidates Lee into killing people whom he has a grudge against and then strangers, by telling him thee act is a way to show his love and gratitude.  He also subjects the boy to some grueling physical and emotional tests to harden him and break his moral resistance.

Directed by Alexandre Moors, this taut film examines a dark place in the American psyche and is particularly forceful because the actual events of the Beltway murders are still current enough for people to remember them, and recent shootings by deranged individuals have had a powerful impact on society.