Five Docs To Watch

Five Docs To Watch


D: Jamie Meltzer

The Brandon Darby archive continues to add layers. Meltzer's documentary covers the ground from Darby's legendary rescue of his friend Robert King Wilkerson (who now denounces him) from the Katrina floods, to his current occupation as a shill for right-wing fantasies about the "terrorist" left. In melodramatic interviews, Darby recounts his version of transition from co-founder of Common Ground Relief to potential recruit by Colombian revolutionaries to eager FBI informant on Riad Hamad, an Austin pro-Palestinian activist who later committed suicide. (Some of this is told through unconvincing and occasionally silly re-enactments.) Finally comes his star-turn as the witness against two Texas anarchists for making eight molotov cocktails at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Fascinating as a character study, the film's central problem is that Darby is a fantasist, so it's quite impossible to know when he's telling the truth. Stronger are the commentaries by his former allies and journalist Michael May, who provide perspective and crucial reality checks.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 8:30pm, Bob Bullock IMAX; Wednesday, Oct. 24, 3pm, Hideout
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