Baltimore is plagued with rats. They’re everywhere. The city’s garbage cans are even designed according to how high a rat can jump. Rat Film examines this rodent population and the culture that surrounds it, and moves into an intersecting sociological analysis of the city’s urban development and its segregation of impoverished ethnic minorities. A city’s failure to control its rat problem intertwines with a systemic neglect that has also fostered poverty and racism. With a journalistic attention to detail and an experimental essayistic approach that recalls Chris Marker and Harun Farocki, Rat Film draws unsettling connections between various facets of a society that fail to meet the basic needs of its people. The dire urgency is countered by an ironically deadpan narration, accentuating the eeriness of this revealing socioeconomic exposé that seems to suggest that if we look close enough at the cracks, we live in post-apocalyptic times. Adam Cook
Co-presented by Spur Festival.