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Executive Order

****
2022

‘…does a good job taking the temperature of a world aflame…’

My regular reader will know that I’m always looking for films that say something about where we are now; Lázaro Ramos’ political satire Executive Order is torn from today’s headlines, and makes uncomfortable viewing for anyone who has been following the plug-hole circling spiral of news. What starts out with genuine comic verve soon heads towards a Children of Men dystopian nightmare, and Executive Order is to be recommended to those who seek modern cinema that offers more than numb-skull escapism.

‘I used to be black…’ offers lawyer Antonio (Alfred Enoch); now he’s ‘high-melanin’, which means that he’s of Afro-African origin and therefore subject to deportation from his home country of Brazil. The government have launched an executive order that aims to repatriate all ‘high-melanins’, and Antonio ends up bunkered-down in his Rio de Janeiro flat with his cousin Andre (The Life Aquatic’s charismatic singing star Seu Jorge). Will Andre end up ‘the last black man left in Brazil’ or will he end up surrendering to the authorities?

There’s reflections here of the UK government plans under Boris Johnson to send migrants on flights to Rwanda; arguably the plan that finally broke resistance to deposing him as PM. But we’re teetering on the brink of authoritarianism, and Executive Order chillingly lays out how a government might casually institute racist ideology under the pretext of ‘reducing viruses’. This removal of what one character calls ‘the fabric of what protected us from ourselves ‘ seems to be a worldwide issue; if you are of the wrong colour, sex, religious beliefs or intellectual disposition, you’ve got good reason to worry as a minority in 2022.

Fortunately, Executive Order doesn’t go down the full dystopia route, and stepping away from violence is a key theme; notably, when Antonio and Andre get held at gunpoint, they refuse to attack their assailant, an act which later goes viral. There’s also a few surreal, throwaway shots that really land; a patient abandoned on an operating table, or a vision of how a dance-hall quickly became a makeshift hospital. The world is burning right now, and it’s not just the temperature; Romos’ film does a good job taking the temperature of a world aflame.

Signature Entertainment presents Executive Order on Digital Platforms 18th July 2022.

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    • Absolutely. This is the nightmare that every country is looking down the barrel of right now. And this film is more than cinematic enough to merit a big screen.

  1. Who knew Mission Impossible: Bins was going to be such a big hit? Been a while since I’ve seen a conversation that big where I wasn’t the instigator egging things on.
    And yes, I got a presidential pardon for any “theoretical” eggs I might have thrown…

            • This is the beginning of Binstagram, my new social networking site where entities like the WP4 and their associates can share and comment on their actual bins. Bigger than Twitter.

              • Awesome!
                I feel that you’ve really tapped into a need here. Too many social sites are taken up with a-list actors that nobody cares about, all talking about tissue thin issues.
                Bins are real. Bins are solid. Bins have heft and depth and no one can accuse them of being paper thin!

                This is gonna be huuuuuuge….

                • You can tell a lot about a person by their bin. If it’s related to bins, I’m in.

                  • I want you all to send me selfies of yourselves standing proudly next to your bins, separate photos for separate bins, such as gardening stuff, recycling stuff, organic stuff, general stuff bins. I will forge them into a documentary with a soundtrack. Please wear your best trash disposal uniforms like wot Alex does. (Morecambe & Wise ref probably only Dix will get.)

  2. Signature is a distributor that acquires quite a few worthwhile titles through International Sales agents. In this case the film comes direct from a Brazilian company. Unfortunately Signature tends to get only brief bookings in cinemas and then goes to download and streamers. Brazilian cinema is vibrant at the moment and this sounds interesting. It’s the kind of film I would hope to see at festivals. Children of Men is being discussed again and this film sounds timely. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    • Happy to do so. I’m a fan of Signature’s track record for acquisitions, although I fully agree; in an ideal world, I’d want to see films like this on the big screen. This film is really worth attention; I don’t see stinging political commentary like this in the US or UK, we seem to have lost that knack and it’s good to find it alive and well in Brazil.

  3. I’m with Fraggle here, as the trailer doesn’t have any laffs in it. In fact, the trailer doesn’t provide any information at all about what it’s about. I need to find an authoritative source on film to keep me right.

      • Your testimony may be disregarded as not suitably in tune with our prime time spectacular. Are you willing to say this under oath? An explosive allegation, don’t condos have waste chutes? You don’t stand in the lift with bin juice dripping, surely?

        • sigh

          Melanie is correct. Condos do have bins. Condos have many amenities not available in Scotland. Bins. Electricity. Indoor plumbing. Lawn mowers instead of goats to eat the grass.

          • Leaving aside the various slurs on my proud nation, I’ll need pics of these bins or else they never happened. So you stand in a lift with your bin juice dripping?

            • We’d call it a tower block. I think Alex is in some kind of space penitentiary….

                  • I have now consulted with Lord Google. A condo is a tower block in which people purchase an apartment and have shared ownership of corridors and stuff. There are other tower blocks where people rent/lease the apartments and own sweet FA. You can’t tell the difference by looking at them, which is where I got it wrong, thought condos were a different kind of building.

                    • Any info on BINS, since that is what the WP4 committe is investigating today? All replies treated in confidence; we are a non-politcal organisation…

                    • Condos have chutes, either one where everything goes down into a huge container, or in newer ones they have trisorter chutes where it very cleverly sorts the trash into waste, recycling and organic. Then some contractor (or Alex in his spandex suit with cape and gold lame speedos) whisks it away to trashland. This is Fraggle, reporting for the WP4 waste disposal committee 2022.

                    • I guess some explanation is required for UK readers . . .

                      “Condo” just refers to joint property ownership. You have a unit in a development that constitutes a share in a condo corporation.

                      A condo may be an apartment building, or even group of apartment buildings. These are called “apartment condos.”

                      Condos may also take the form of row or townhouses. These are “townhouse condos.”

                      I live in a townhouse condo. There are no chutes. I have a two-car garage and a driveway (but no car). I put bins out, as do all my neighbours.

                    • He needs a belt on that bathrobes, everyone is saying. Terrible flapping.

                    • Oh er missus, I certainly was not, it was just the way I was sitting and the angle of the phone. How dare you!

                    • So walk me through how you get your rubbish out? Remember you are under oath.

                    • The more pressing question is how citizens of B-field don’t understand how the bin system works. The twentieth century beckons. Acceptance into the twenty-first can’t be many years away.

                    • Still yet to see any conclusive proof of your bin arrangement. Largely heresay so far. Nothing for me to be defensive about, no further denial or deflection required from you, just pics of bins.

                    • Thank you, I will arrange for all previous crimes to be pardoned in view of your full cooperation.

                    • Yet to be committed. Will try and get down the coop tomorrow and see about your reward…

    • It IS a comedy satire, but that switching on tones seems to have confused a few critics. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you right; this is a film that has several moods, and it manages to capture a genuine human drama that has warmth and humour as well as social horror.

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