The Capitol insurrection; a martian simulation; and salvation from WWII

The film unfolds like a disaster film, following events chronologically, with comments from rioters, police officers, journalists, members of Congress and other participants and witnesses.

At 12:01 p.m., President Trump is at a rally of tens of thousands of supporters, delivering his infamous command to go to Capitol Hill and “fight like hell.” At 12:06 p.m., a contingent of Proud Boys was already marching there, listening to a broadcast of Trump’s speech. At 12:35 p.m., the Proud Boys contingent grazes the fragile barriers and the handful of policemen guarding them and heads for the Capitol, where Congress is about to count the Electoral College votes and certify the election of Joe Biden. .

The United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, in “Four hours on the Capitol”.Courtesy of HBO

Police rally, but the crowd, some in bulletproof vests and full tactical gear, attack them with fences, flag poles, fists, pitchforks, baseball bats and bear spray. It was like a medieval army attacking a fortress.

It was only the first wave. Thousands more from the Trump rally were on their way.

Some images may be familiar, but when viewed together they convey the full impact of the assault. The terror, courage, exhaustion and indignation of the police who fight the insurgents for hours are palpable. The great escape of lawmakers and Vice President Pence is clearly evident. The terror of staff members trapped in dark offices with rioters pounding on doors is embodied in the one bursting into tears as she recalls her certainty that she was about to be assaulted and possibly killed.

As troubling as this narrative is, the fact that millions of people will view violence as patriotic, or dismiss it as a problem, or blame Nancy Pelosi or the FBI or antifa, is even more so. As US Democratic Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says, “How do you help people understand the difference between fact and fiction? Between truth and conspiracy theories?

“Four Hours at the Capitol” can be streamed on HBO and HBO Max. Go to www.hbo.com/documentaries/four-hours-at-the-capitol.

Of "Red sky."
From “Red Sky.”Brendan Room

Martian Chronicles

If traumas like the Capitol uprising make you think of fleeing this troubled planet for a heavenly home, the documentary by Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe “Red sky”(2020) will give you an idea of ​​what to expect. Recalling Matt Wolf’s’ Spaceship Earth ‘(2020), about the controversial 1991 Biosphere 2 project (and possibly also Claire Denis’ scary 2018 sci-fi film’ High Life ‘), the film tells a story year spent in isolation by six volunteers in a NASA-simulated Martian habitat in 2015. To record the experience, the filmmakers gave the team a bunch of cameras, then spent five years editing the mass of footage resulting.

Featuring an airlock, common area and bedroom for each member, the white igloo-shaped structure that will be their home next year overlooks the Mars-like lava plain of Mauna Loa volcano, in Hawaii. Made up of three men and three women in their twenties from various scientific disciplines, the crew all get along very well for a while, filming themselves running on a treadmill, walking (sometimes jumping) across the desolate terrain. surrounding in a spacesuit, playing the harmonica or ukulele or conducting experiments. They are cut off from the Internet and can only occasionally communicate with friends and family outside. However, on day 27 of the experiment, their daily polls show that general morale is “Excellent”.

It wasn’t until around 200 days that people started talking about murder. Jokingly, no doubt, or hypothetically, but personality twitches and little annoyances annoy everyone – the way people chew food, or the rudeness of a member nicknamed Mr. Loudface, or someone. who studies Russian and who looks like a raging madman.

When water is scarce, volunteers are really put to the test. Can they come together and solve the problem? Could two members even find love? Will they have left for a new world (or a simulation of it) only to fall back into the same patterns of behavior that ruined the planet they would have left?

“Red Heaven” is available on AppleTV and Altavod. Go to www.redheavenfilm.com.

Of "Passage to Sweden."
From “Passage in Sweden”.Bubble soup productions

Scandinavian haven of peace

For thousands of Jews during World War II, Sweden, a neutral country, offered a welcoming refuge.

In fact, unlike most countries in Europe, the Scandinavian countries took risky steps to protect Jews from the Nazis. As seen in Suzannah Warlick “Passage in Sweden”, After Norway was invaded in 1940 and a pro-Nazi government was installed, the Resistance escorted thousands of Jews through dense forests and dangerous mountains to cross the long border with Sweden.

Denmark also fell to the Nazis in 1940, but its king, Christian X, promised he would protect the country’s Jews. In 1943, when plans for deportation to death camps were discovered, a network of thousands of Danes managed to secretly transport nearly all Jews across the narrow Øresund Strait to Sweden.

Swedish neutrality came at a price: the country had to sell its steel to Germany, possibly prolonging the survival of the Reich. But it would be hard to put a price on the efforts of rescuers like Swedish businessman Raoul Wallenberg, who cunning and daring saved thousands of Jews in 1944 when Hungary began rounding them up and taking them out. hand them over to the Nazis.

“Passage to Sweden” can be shown as part of the Arlington International Film November 4-14. Go to aiffest.org.

Peter Keough can be reached at [email protected].

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