Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Robert Greenwald's latest agitprop, MAKING A KILLING, takes on the NRA. Good luck, Bob!

You've got hand it to Robert Greenwald, that seemingly indefatigable maker of movies (most of them documentaries) -- 86 as producer and at least 25 as director: He does not seem to have updated his IMDB profile for a few years now -- that are dedicated to setting America back on track. His films on everything/everyone from Rupert Murdoch to the Koch Brothers, Walmart, our use of drones and one of his best, War on Whistleblowers, go after the usual suspects with anger, relish and plenty of statistics.

But the man, pictured at right, does sometimes seem to be beating a dead horse -- or in this case, one that simply refuses to die and instead goes on killing more and more of us in the process. That would be the NRA, which -- no matter how great a majority of Americans want better and firmer gun control in so many ways -- continues to keep buying off our politicians so that, time and again after each and every mass killing and individual murder or suicide throughout the USA, we are no closer than before to living in a safer, better country.

His latest doc, MAKING A KILLING: GUNS, GREED AND THE NRA, takes aim (and good aim, at that) at this behemoth of horror and venality, and shows us why and how this evil continues to rule. But so what? Will anyone who isn't already converted to Mr. Greenwald's view even watch this film? I have my doubts. I watched, because I said I would cover the film, and I hoped I might learn something more or something new. I did not. I still believe thoroughly in what Greenwald believes, but I find the experience of viewing a film like this so frustrating that it could drive me to drink. Or worse. (I am glad I have no guns in my home.)

I did meet a few folk new to me -- mostly relatives of victims of guns, each of whom has a story that will break you heart, as the event in question broke their own -- yet the stories begin to run together with others we've heard time and again over the years.

The movie is divided into several parts, dealing with individual murder and suicide, mass killings (his recreation of the Aurora movie-theater massacre is genuinely creepy and horrifying), and especially (where the poor, beleaguered city of Chicago is concerned) how weapons so easily cross state lines and wreak havoc on innocent citizens (many of whom are shown below).

What to do? The movie takes the stance that activism is the answer, and in a couple of instances shown here -- in which citizens go after certain gun stores in Indiana that have sold weapons that have killed Illinois citizens -- this works in a small and mild way. But what effect has this had upon the NRA, which, thanks to money totally controlling our politics, continues to profit, prosper and murder.

TrustMovies is at a loss to know what is left to do to counter this evil. Our upcoming election -- with one candidate so full of lies and deception that ever he cannot tell the difference between reality and make-believe (his own sanity is now being called into question) and the other so in bed with our financial industry and corporate money that no help will arrive from her -- will solve or settle nothing. Well, with global warming upon us, about which one candidate claims is fraudulent and the other pays little mind (there's just not enough profit in global warming), we're probably doomed, and more quickly that we know.

But see Greenwald's newest, if you dare, and try to come away with some real plan of action. I could not. But maybe I'm just too depressed. Seems to me that the only way change can occur is if we remove money's control of our politics (I see no hope of that from either party). Or maybe this: All those politicians who accept money from the NRA, together with all those who wield the power at the NRA, should lose a loved one, probably a child, at the point of a rifle or gun. Only then will they understand -- and take the necessary action. But where, I wonder, is the deus ex machina to make that happen?

Meanwhile, Making a Killing opens this coming Friday, August 12, in Los Angeles at the Laemmle's Music Hall in Beverly Hills, and on Friday, August 19 in New York City at the Village East Cinema. The film will hit VOD, via Gravitas Ventures, on November1.

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