Indie Film: Documenting the dumpster fire that was 2020

I consider we can all concur that 2020 was indeed a dumpster fireplace of a 12 months. A pandemic, a unsuccessful white supremacist coup, financial uncertainty – 2020 was actually the type of calendar year to make you want to curl up in a ball and set a wake-up simply call for “whenever the entire world gets its act jointly.”

But for a effectiveness artist, activist and filmmaker/provocateur, a complete ton of chaos is a phone to motion. Peculiar, loud, aggressively button-pushing motion. “2020: The Dumpster Fire” is Boston-based filmmaker Rod Webber’s documentary of that no very good, really undesirable yr and, extra specially, of an activist’s function in equally standing witness to an entire year’s value of generally unsafe unrest and in producing a tiny imaginative unrest of his own.

Manufactured by South Portland’s Nathan Oliver as a result of his NO Productions movie enterprise, “2020: The Dumpster Fire” follows Webber as he inserts himself into anything from presidential campaign rallies (for Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and other folks) to Black Life Make a difference marches to the streets of Boston, wherever Webber and numerous accomplices staged a (fake) bloody ritual in which Webber tore out and ate Trump’s heart.

Webber receives arrested a large amount, anything Mainer Oliver suggests he can respect, taking into consideration the information that Webber is making an attempt to express.

“Rod’s been raided by the FBI, which was hilarious,” said Oliver, noting that Webber’s film demonstrates the stage at which Webber, film digicam however functioning, asks the agents if he can place his trousers on. Citing Webber’s $20,000 victory in a lawsuit against the Trump marketing campaign for manhandling Webber out of a Trump rally in 2016, Oliver states that it’s Webber’s strategy to now explain to prospective apprehenders, “Trump paid out me $20,000 – do you have 20 grand to spare?”

For Oliver, who describes himself as “very center-of-the-highway, politically,” Webber’s focus-grabbing stunts are eye-catching because, “Rod’s a person of all those people you really don’t meet up with a lot, somebody who finds himself, in a participatory way, in the suitable location at the appropriate time.” Of program, when you’re toting your digicam into the heart of what Oliver rightly calls “one of the most chaotic yrs in American background,” the right place and time often usually means putting by yourself in a placement to get damage by some extremely angry men and women.

In “2020: The Dumpster Fire” (the initially 10 minutes of which are accessible for free of charge on-line), we see Webber and his crew staying attacked (verbally) by famous conservative kook Alex Jones and (physically) by white supremacist so-named “Proud Boys” on the streets on Providence, Rhode Island. All in the company of, according to producer Oliver, talking truth to energy, no make a difference who wields it. “For Rod, everyone who seems to be for the place of energy, he’s declaring, I’m section of that package, as well, and nobody’s above it.”

For Oliver, whose directorial feature, the cult horror flick “Lady Psycho Killer” previously profiled in this column, locating these kinds of a well timed and provocative film for NO Productions (along with California-primarily based studio Buffalo 8) was good company and superior enjoyment. “Rod has this pretty sardonic, Gen-X-variety humor, and it is a breath of new air. What’s actually enjoyable is going by means of the Google archives and just hunting up Rod’s title. Putting politics apart for a second, it’s just ridiculously entertaining. That is his purpose – he’s a shouter, and that’s off-placing for some people today.”

Whether or not symbolically disemboweling a sitting down president, scrawling satirical messages on superior-profile community targets, or receiving unsuspecting figures (like disgraced correct-wing former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio) to unwittingly participate in into his satirical game titles, Rod Webber is part of the extended background of American confrontational comedy. As Webber himself narrates in “2020: The Dumpster Fireplace,” “If you do not have piles of dollars, you have received to use spectacle, humor and trolling to contact out (expletive).” (Oliver details to the Borat-type sequence wherever Webber, hyping up a MAGA group undercover, finally will get a total whole lot of people today to chant anything really questionable about their picked out leader.)

In accordance to Webber, “2020: The Dumpster Fire” is a testament to his willingness to keep accountable individuals persons – be they politicians on possibly side, media figures or dangerously violent white supremacists – who’d want only to be known on their have, very carefully produced phrases. Speaking to Webber’s existence at Black Life Make any difference protests or these at Occupy Wall Road and Standing Rock, Oliver notes, “He’s in a strange place where he does not have context, and does not consider to deliver it, both. He’s stating ‘This is what transpired here,’ and displaying points that the media narrative leaves out.”

As for the occupied Oliver, the close to potential sees his NO Productions scheduling anything from perform with Maine filmmaker Josiah Pitchforth to a deeply private venture about his mother’s time as an Air Force major and nurse, to a self-financed horror anthology. Meanwhile, his “Lady Psycho Killer” (showcasing display screen legend Malcolm McDowell, among the other folks) can be streamed on Tubi, and the Oliver-produced “2020: The Dumpster Fire” will be launched into the world in December. “Not poor for a tiny male in Maine,” Oliver claimed, proudly, and I have to agree.

Watch the to start with 10 minutes of “2020: The Dumpster Fire” on YouTube and retain an eye on NO Productions’ web page,, for full release particulars. You can understand additional about Rod Webber’s perform at

Dennis Perkins is a freelance author who lives in Auburn with his wife and cat.

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