The Friday Afternoon Movie: Blood In The Face

Friday! It is now! At this very moment! Time for the FAM! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Today’s Friday Afternoon Movie is 1991’s Blood in the Face, directed by Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway, based upon Ridgeway’s book Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. You may assume from the title of that book that this film may be about white supremacists. You would assume correctly. Blood in the Face, filmed mostly in Cohoctah Township, Michigan, is an encounter with the ultra-right, lunatic fringe — at least as it existed 20 years ago.

What makes the movie work, I think, is how casual, for lack of a better word, the entire encounter is. The directors eschew the usual tropes associated with exposés and documentaries. There is no narrator, there are no experts being interviewed in order to provide commentary or context. By and large the filmmakers stay out of the actual film (with the exception of Michael Moore, who makes an appearance around 7:12 in part one, interviewing a uniformed neo-Nazi). The majority of the interviews are conversational in tone, giving the disturbing illusion of actually being amongst these people. Oftentimes it feels like it’s just you and a bunch of crazed racists; an uncomfortable experience, to say the least.

2 Responses to “The Friday Afternoon Movie: Blood In The Face”

  1. Jeff Wengrofsky Says:

    I remember seeing this film in a theater when it came out. Back then Ridgeway wrote for the Village Voice and that mattered.

    Ah, well…my favorite scene in the film comes later in the film. As some white supremacist is making some claim about how different people are by “race,” we see in the background a black and a white dog having sex. It was totally by chance and provides a great visual rejoinder.


  2. Juha Arvid Helminen Says:

    Diversity is nice but I could live without nazis.

    Good documentary!