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  Day Shall Come, The War On Error
Year: 2019
Director: Chris Morris
Stars: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Denis O'Hare, Danielle Brooks, Kayvan Novak, Adam David Thompson, Curtiss Cooke Jr, Miles Robbins, Andrel McPherson, Malcolm M. Mays, James Adomian, Michael Braun, Mousa Kraish, Pej Vahdat, Jim Gaffigan, Rodney Richardson
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Moses (Marchánt Davis) is planning to overthrow the entirety of white America: he has his plans drawn up, he has his army of followers, and he has his faith to ensure he succeeds. One thing he does not have is money, and he desperately needs funds to continue his church that he is the self-styled leader of, but there are ways and means to get those. One way is to attain a bank loan, and another way is to go about it less legally, securing backing on the black market. He has avowed not to use guns nor permit is followers to do so, because guns are the weapon of the white man invented to oppress the black man, so what can he find that will sell for a tidy, underhand profit?

Based on hundreds of true stories, is how writer (with Jesse Armstrong and others) and director Chris Morris opened what he hoped would be an expose of the FBI's methods for battling terrorists cells on American soil; he went to the States and researched his subject thoroughly, pointing out in a surprising amount of publicity he did for the film how everything in it was accurate to many, many cases that had taken place since the Islamic fundamentalist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The message was that the Bureau were under pressure to arrest as many internal terrorists as possible, but seeing as how there just were not that many to uncover, alternative arrangements arose.

Alternative arrangements like basically framing some very naïve men, and some very deluded, even mentally ill men, for crimes they would never have considered had the undercover agents not set them up. It was a disturbing series of events that Morris could hold forth on intelligently and expansively, yet after watching this satire, the question that would be foremost in your mind was "Why not make a documentary?" There was patently a wealth of true life material he had delved into to construct this composite tale with bleakly jokey asides, but the overall effect, if you were engaged by the injustice at all, was to wonder what that actual set of stories were rather than this.

There were a few laughs, some big ones too, but the method was sabotaging what should have been a national outrage. Morris was following up his hit comedy Four Lions, about a group of British Islamic terrorists who really did want to cause harm, after a long-ish gap with something that sounded like Four Lions Part 2, but while there were connections, The Day Shall Come was a different kettle of fish since the previous effort exposed terrorists as a confused, pathetic albeit dangerous lot, and this was aiming to do the same for the authorities instead. Not that Moses and his army of four (not counting his wife and young daughter) are any less clueless, but they were portrayed as victims of the international paranoia that had infected everyone's thinking since the War on Terror had begun.

Morris, as mentioned, did a lot of research, which was why it took so long for this to reach the screens, at least partly, just as he had with Four Lions, and that was not merely sitting in on trials of these unfortunates, but going to the FBI as well, and discovering their terrorist unit were so lacking that they essentially invented their own cases, as they had to be seen to be doing something. Therefore largely innocent people became scapegoats for their paranoia because somebody had to be blamed, and as genuine evildoers were not as prevalent as the government and media liked to tell us, lies and subterfuge were employed to get those innocents behind bars despite the authorities manufacturing their supposed, but non-existent, crimes. This was very well acted, especially newcomer Davis and Anna Kendrick as the increasingly horrified agent who reluctantly proves Moses' downfall, but the film felt like an obfuscation of the facts rather than the help it should have been. Morris composed some of the music, too.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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