Blue Caprice- preview (East End Film Festival)
Thursday 5 June 2014, by
While not all films starring black people are ’black films’, Alexandre Moor’s "Blue Caprice" has been billed as an exploration of the African American ’experience’ .It’s also been described as analogous to ’Precious’ and ’Boys in the Hood’. How does a film about a young person trafficked from Antigua and brainwashed by a sociopath to murder innocent people capture the African American experience? Did ’Silence of the Lambs’ capture the European American experience? Did ’Bonnie and Clyde’?
In fact, more than a reductive portrayal of an imagined African American experience ’Blue Caprice’ confronts a myriad of questions about masculinity, guns, violence and, most significantly the dynamic between human agency and the lived circumstances that can render both victim and perpetrator powerless. On the island of Antigua 17-year-old Lee has been left home alone while his mother works in the US, part of the collateral damage of globalisation. Lee encounters US army veteran John, a man devoured by rage and resentment, who brings him to the US. John then re-creates Lee in his own image, transforming him into a ’monster’ ready to enact his murderous vengeance. The film is based on the Beltway sniper attacks that randomly shot and killed people in the Washington DC area 12 years ago. With Elliot Rodger’s killing spree in the news for the last couple of weeks the film couldn’t feel more relevant. Just as Rodger’s entitlement, fear and misogyny resulted in him holding women responsible for his isolation and loneliness, John makes similar miscalculations.
’Blue Caprice’ presents a character who chooses violence, control and coercion in order to achieve his own sense of justice and asks us to consider how these choices come about. While the film presents a series of extreme actions it offers the chance to reflect on the more subtle behaviours, messages and policies that make up a larger culture of violence and sexism. A culture that, unfortunately, frames the ways in which we differentiate between justice and vengeance, strength and vulnerability.
Blue Caprice is showing at the Hackney Picturehouse as part of the East End Film Festival, Sunday 15th June 5.30pm