October is upon us, and the race whose name we dare not speak is getting competitive: this month sees the release of such awards bait as 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, The Fifth Estate, All Is Lost, and, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. (What? It could happen — they love it when actors age up.) Meanwhile, it’s a quieter month for indie releases, but there are still several smaller pictures worth seeking out; our recommendations for the month are after the jump.
Let the Fire Burn
Release date: October 2
Director: Jason Osder
In May of 1985, the Philadelphia Police Department, with the approval of the mayor and district attorney, firebombed the residential headquarters of the radical group MOVE, killing 11 people and burning 61 homes in the process. It was, in retrospect, a kind of proto-Waco — law enforcement action against an arguably cult-like group with disturbing tendencies, but a response way out of proportion with the actions at hand. Jason Osder’s documentary offers no narration and no current interviews, relying solely on archival footage to present his minute-by-minute tick-tock in a clear, fair, straightforward manner. Powerful, thought-provoking, and infuriating.