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Chris Fuller's no-budget experimental film attempts to capture the feelings of anger, unease and loneliness plaguing the youth of St. Petersburg, Florida shortly after a series of race riots. I say attempts, because this film is ultimately a bunch of parts that don't add up to much of a whole.
Fuller follows three young people, two men (one played by himself) and a girl, only one of whose names we even learn through the course of the film (though all of the characters have names according to the closing credits). The film is purposefully disjointed. We see these kids zoning out, having sex, getting drunk, starting fights, all of it interspersed with voice overs and footage pulled from real-life news shows, including one utterly gratuitous segment showing Budd Dwyer committing public suicide at a live press conference. This segment has outraged viewers for its insensitivity, but really it doesn't feel any more gratuitous than most of the rest of the film. Everything's gratuitous when you're not given anything to care about, and I certainly did not care about these people or their lives.
I feel like this film was meant to enrage me, to give me a dose of the vague but palpable cultural oppression that makes the characters in it act so self destructively, but it instead made me shrug my shoulders with indifference. Fuller didn't make me understand why these people's lives are so miserable, and he certainly didn't make it clear to me what I could do about it, let alone make me feel like I even WANTED to do anything about it.
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