Viennale 3 : what you gonna do when the world's on fire?
A film by Roberto Minervini
What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?, Roberto Minervini, Italia- EUA- Francia, 2018, 123' DCP, OV EN, Sub ES
Minervini’s most recent film, which premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival, marks a striking departure. WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD’S ON FIRE? is the director’s first black-andwhite film, and for the first time, he portrays the residents of a black neighborhood. In his film, set against the backdrop of a series of violent crimes and a brutal murder committed by the Ku Klux Klan, Minervini follows the actions of the New Black Panther Party for Self- Defense in New Orleans. With home visits, meetings and protests, the group under female leadership tries to win over the black community for its cause and to mobilize them for resistance. In addition to these scenes, which are carried by “Black Power” chants and form a kind of leitmotif, Minervini follows two young brothers. Their everyday life consists of hanging out and enduring benevolent motherly scolding. A feisty bar owner turns out to be at the heart of this film. Thus, Minervini masterly changes perspectives: between the public and the private, generations and genders. Racism and violence – that much is certain – will continue even after the preparations for the upcoming Mardi Gras. (Michael Pekler)