Skip to main content

BLOOD IN THE FACE

USA, 1991 (MIFF 1991, Documentaries)

Director: Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, James Ridgeway

In this shocking close-up of America's white-supremacist movement, the members of the American Nazi Party, the Klu Klux Klan, and the Aryan Nations are chillingly relaxed, even genial, as they speak about the need to return the U.S. to a state of racial purity.

Most of the film was shot during the white-supremacist convention held at a medium size barn in the Michigan countryside. The participants range from housewives to longhaired kids, but most of them are blank, middle-aged men in glasses and moustaches who speak with all the rabid ferocity of members of the local PTA.

Few of the Aryan cultists here express anything approaching overt malice. In a sense, this movement has gone past conventional racial hostility and into a kind of gonzo sugenics. Many speak frankly about the primal anxiety that drives the white-supremacist movement - the fear that people of Anglo-Saxon descent, whose alleged racial superiority is expressed by their ability to show "blood in the face" (that is, to blush), are being wiped out.

The movie includes some fascinating footage of George Lincoln Rockwell, who spearheaded the American Nazi movement of the late '50s. There are also clips of the chillingly telegenic David Duke, the former Klu Klux Klan Imperial Wizard who, in 1989, was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives. His entrance into the arena of legitimate politics should make one thing clear; that the people this movie reveals with such creepy intimacy can't quite be written off as irrelevant fanatics.

Controversial in nature and acting as a double-edged sword, Blood In The Face minimizes its editorializing, allowing the words and actions of the individuals to speak for themselves. "We have nothing to hide" is the message reiterated. Blood In The Face gives is the opportunity to place faces on the enemy and understand who and what they are.

See also...

LEGENDS

Actors in the longrunning Las Vegas show "Legends in Concert" try, every night to packed houses, to bring Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland back from the dead - and in so doing find ... More »

SAM PECKINPAH: MAN OF IRON

Never an easy or comfortable 'talent' to accept, legendary director Sam Peckinpah's working life was continually damaged by front office interference, in tandem with his tendency towards ... More »

THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT

Jan Oxenberg's latest film is a deeply moving journey into the life of her family on the eve of her grandmother's death. An intense personal diary, Thank You and Good Night documents an extended ... More »

COLOR ADJUSTMENT: BLACKS IN PRIME TIME

... ... Provocative, engaging and scrupulously researched, Color Adjustment: Blacks In Prime Time is a film that examines the relation­ship between prime-time television and Ameri­ca's racial ... More »

DREAM DECEIVERS: THE STORY BEHIND JAMES VANCE VS JUDAS PRIEST

... ... In December 1985 two Nevada teenagers car­ried out a suicide pact in the playground of a local church. Ray Belknap succeeded in blow­ing his brains out, but James Vance survived with ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director