Still fighting the power
LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR Directed by Antonino D’ambrosio. Featuring Shepard Fairey, Eve Ensler, Chuck D, Ian Mackay, Billy Bragg Club, 96 min
ADAPTED BY artist-activist Antonino D’Ambrosio from his own collection of essays, Let Fury Have the Hour offers a curious nexus point between countercultural modes of thought and artistic responses. The concept is hardly a neat one, and under the director it sprawls into a loose-limbed transatlantic history of the new Right, one where Reaganomics and Thatcher cast dark twin shadows.
Long before Chuck D pops up with a handy guide to Public Enemy’s most quoted tune, we’re aware of being among folks for whom “Fight the Power” is a mantra. Assorted economists and activists fill in the background details so that various celebrated malcontents – a lively chorus of writers, commentators, rockers, skateboarders, Washington punks, Taqwa- cores and street artists – might contextualise their work.
The film’s fast cuts and wide net make for quick-changing talking heads. Slowly, D’Ambrosio’s ambitious chronicle finds a rhythm as it zigzags between the thoughts of Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, Ian MacKay, Eve Ensler, and all kinds of everyone.
What unites US lesbian activism and south Madrid breakdancing, by D’Ambrosio’s account, is a common history of economic discontents. And what unites these disparate performers and artists is the difference between independent thinking and indie schmindie branding. A flurry of feelgood, decent-minded slogans add to the sensation that we’re attending the world’s hippest anti-capitalist rally.
Let Fury Have the Hour opens the North West Film and Music Fest on November 14th (http://themodel.ie/film) and features in the Cork Film Festival on November 15th (corkfilmfestival.org) before embarking on a nationwide tour.
Performer, author, poet Staceyann Chin has her say