Mastodon Blood in the Face, a film by Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway

Blood in the Face

Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway

Excerpt from a film by Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway, with interviews by Michael Moore, from 1991.

Bohlen, Rafferty (The Atomic Cafe) and Ridgeway simply turn on their cameras cinema and let their subjects crucify themselves with their stupidity and ridiculousness. It’s amazing how enthusiastically these ultra-right-wing bigots share their views on camera. All I can figure is that they think that people will be attracted to their cause just by hearing their viewpoint on film.

Basically, Blood in the Face shows a collection of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and various other Anglo-fascist thinkers gathering in southern Michigan for a convention designed to rally support for the Aryan nation. This occurs in the late 1980s and it’s like a family gathering with a great many middle-aged people who look like potbellied sheriffs from the segregated youth of the ’60s. But there’s also a disturbing amount of young people there. One group of four in their 20s is all decked out in Nazi uniforms complete with swastikas, but their fresh and innocent looks soon fade when they begin to speak of the coming race war they believe is inevitable. These people are serious, and they are arming themselves.

Interestingly, this film was posted on YouTube by a neo-Nazi group, who are apparently so intellectually impaired that they think the movie makes them look good. Oh well – reminds me of what Miguel Pinero once told me, when he said his ex-agent was bad-mouthing him to everybody in town, claiming he was a junkie and an irredeemable criminal who was infecting people with AIDs. “Long as they spell my name right, motherfucker!” Or when Joe Franklin interviewed Spinal Tap as if they were a genuine band. Or the patrons of The Blair Witch Project who declaimed on leaving the theater, “Yo that shit was for real!” Maybe they should have stayed for the credits…

“Blending archival and interview footage, Blood in the Face is a close-up examination of the emergence of far-right-wing groups in the United States in the early ’90s. The film takes its title from the central myth of these groups, that because only whites can blush, only they feel shame, and therefore only they are human. In a series of amazing interviews, members of the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazi Party, and the Posse Commitatus reveal the frighteningly over-rationalized logic behind their beliefs. ‘The Russians and Chinese are amassing tanks at the Mexican border’ and ‘The men behind the Holocaust were Jews’ are two of the more preposterous claims recorded by the film. While it’s an investigation of the people behind the political power of politicians like David Duke, the film is also a study of how people are overtaken by hate and fear. The result is an essential and powerful documentary.”
Brian Whitener, ALL MOVIE GUIDE

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