SXSW 2011 Film Reviews

Better This World

Documentary Feature Competition
D: Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega; with Bradley Crowder, David McKay, Brandon Darby, Diana Welch

Chronicle readers will know Diana Welch’s 2009 story, “The Informant,” the tale of two young men from Texas – Bradley Crowder and David McKay – convicted on federal charges of possessing firebombs during the 2008 St. Paul Republican National Convention. Better This World (the phrase is that of FBI informant Brandon Darby) dramatically completes the narrative of Crowder and McKay, who acted recklessly but who were certainly escorted to that end by Darby as a classic agent provocateur. Sympathetic but frank about Crowder and McKay, the film also complicates the strange figure of Darby, a character out of Joseph Conrad: rebel, seducer, betrayer, lost soul. The film reflects extraordinary access, and surprisingly to normally secretive prosecutors and FBI agents (who almost certainly suppressed exculpatory evidence). The result is both a compelling news documentary and a stunning character study of young activists in a chaotic political time.

Got opinions about movie theatres, video games, podcasts, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Michael King
Point Austin: Watching the Races
Point Austin: Watching the Races
Yes, it’s early – but Austin voters can start boning up now

Aug. 16, 2019

PHAM PAC Pushes Back on Hotel Occupancy Tax Plan
PHAM PAC Pushes Back on Hotel Occupancy Tax Plan
Community groups unite to oppose Prop B

Aug. 16, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Time to vote! Best of Austin 2019 balloting is underway   VOTE NOW