Second Time Around

Blood in the Face
A raw documentary about American hate groups like Aryan Nation and the American Nazi Party, Blood in the Face is an untidy, gutsy work in the cautionary tradition of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here. The viewpoint of filmmakers Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway is that it is happening, here and now. Self-styled superpatriots and racial purists are trying to unite disaffected white workers against Jews, gays, and anyone whose flesh tone ranges from swarthy to black. The title refers to the notion that true-blue white folks are the only ones able to blush. Good Aryans show "blood in the face." Guest interviewer Michael Moore tells one wholesome-looking storm trooper that she resembles the "Coppertone girl" more than movie-bred images of Nazis. Why is he surprised? The Coppertone girl would be this crowd's feminine ideal. There's one big benefit to watching the haters here rather than on talk shows: You see their stupidity whole, without needing to get through the counterstupidity of hosts like Geraldo.

-- Michael Sragow

Blood in the Face screens Sunday, March 23, at 8 p.m. at the Climax, in Nahl Hall at the California College of Arts and Crafts, 5213 Broadway (at College), in Oakland. There's a $2 requested donation; call (510) 653-9352.

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