Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. "Rat Film" is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat – as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them – to explore the history of Baltimore. "There's never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it's always been a people problem".
The best TV series of all time, "The Wire", written by David Simon, already offered us an insight into Baltimore – its streets, its corners, its wastelands, its walled doors and windows, its political meanders. For anyone who may have missed it, "Rat Film" offers an interesting introduction into the urban landscape of this merry city in Maryland, in the eastern United States. Setting off level with the tarmac, the film explores different ways to depict the town: via its inhabitants, its "ratbusters", through the story of experimental rodent control campaigns, through mapping, old or contemporary, etc. Of course, rats are not the problem here: the problem is poverty and segregation; they are what have determined the town’s outline for over a century.
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Theo Anthony is a filmmaker and photographer based in Baltimore and Upstate New York. His first feature documentary, "Rat Film", premiered to critical acclaim, with a successful festival and theatrical run followed by a broadcast premiere on PBS Independent Lens in early 2018. Theo Anthony is the recipient of the 2018 Sundance Art of Non-Fiction Fellowship and the 2019 Sundance and Simons Foundation Science Sandbox Fellowship. In 2015, he was named to Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film". His last documentary feature films, "All Light, Everywhere" and "Subject to Review" have featured in several festival selections.
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