FOCUS USA TODAY

eep-fried Civil War

A land of endless opportunities and feet on the gas pedal

America! A land of endless opportunities and feet on the gas pedal, where every idea finds itself a niche in the market and is encouraged to grow, possibly to gigantic proportions: from the most progressive cause (“Black Lives Matter”) to its reactionary twin (“You will not replace us”), to its nutcase conspirationist cousin (“Israel and the Marxists want to turn us all gay and dissolve traditional families”). And, precisely because of this, a deeply fractured land, where

ever-smaller groups demand rights and dignity while others greet Donald Trump’s election with a Roman salute. This is why we deemed this programme necessary, picking six USA-made short films that recount – more or less voluntarily, but never didactically (the Everyman, in 2018, loathes the intellectuals) – the present state of turmoil and division, the “ideological war” and those behind it: from Emergency’s humorous take on racial prejudice to Pleasure Ridge Park’s

portrait of white alienation, from the tensions between homosexuality and religious orthodoxy in Love the Sinner to American Carnage, a doc on the alt-right self-made man Steve Bannon, head strategist at the White House in 2017 who previously directed a handful of surprisingly ugly patriotic documentaries. The United States of 2018, are not, after all, very different from Italy: both so beautiful and so on the verge of civil war.

EMERGENCY
Carey Williams
USA / 2017 / 12’ / Fiction

Faced with an emergency situation, a group of young Black and Latino friends carefully weigh the pros and cons of calling the police.

THE STARTING LINE
Pacho Velez, Nicole Salazar
USA / 2018 / 7’ / Doc

A day at the Tijuana border crossing. But it’s not just any day. As people go through their routines, they listen to the local news report on Donald Trump’s inauguration.

LOVE THE SINNER
Jessica Devaney, Geeta Gandbhir
USA / 2017 / 17’ / Doc

The Evangelical roots of homophobia are explored in the wake of the recent gun massacre in Orlando.

PLEASURE RIDGE PARK
Ryland McIntyre
USA / 2017 / 19’ / Fiction

In small-town, middle America, C.J. makes too much in his job as a dishwasher to live in the subsidized housing he grew up in, and not enough to pay his child support.

LITTLE DONNIE (THE TEN INCH TERROR)
Chel White
USA / 2017 / 4’ / Fiction

A stop motion Donald Trump doll goes on a rampage in this timely animated parody of a 1970’s horror film.

AMERICAN CARNAGE
Farihah Zaman, Jeff Reichert
USA / 2017 / 9’ / Doc

See how alt-right icon Steve Bannon’s years as a documentary filmmaker catapulted him to Breitbart News and the Trump White House.