- 1h 45min
A dying desert town becomes a flashpoint for racial violence when a young white man asks an African American girl out to the annual dance.A dying desert town becomes a flashpoint for racial violence when a young white man asks an African American girl out to the annual dance.A dying desert town becomes a flashpoint for racial violence when a young white man asks an African American girl out to the annual dance.
** (out of 4)
After a bizarre pre-credit sequence where we get to read a bit, we then hit the town of Cicada and meet some of the rather bizarre people who live there. We learn that a tourist group is being led through the town, which is away from most things and they see how evil white people try to hold the black people down with racism and violence.
CHECKERBOARD is without question one of the strangest films that you're ever going to see and my plot description really can't do the film justice because it's just so bizarre and outrageous on so many different labels. This French-Italian co-production was probably made by people who saw headlines of what it was like in the Southern portion of the United States so they wanted to make a movie on it.
The problem is that the film really isn't all that well made and it's certainly not a good or realistic look at the South. I mean, showing how evil some Southern people were is right on the mark but everything here is so exaggerated as far as the characters go that it's hard to take it too serious. There's a very bizarre and sometimes weird view of the white people from them looking weird or just acting in strange ways. One man has a severed cow's head on his counter that shoots water out of its mouth!
The performances are mostly forgettable and I'd argue that the film goes on a bit too long at 93 minutes. Technically speaking the film really isn't all that impressive but at the same time the story is just so weird and bizarre that it's hard to not keep watching and scratching your head wondering what the hell they were thinking. The frank and brutal look at racism and racist words is something quite rare for this era.
- Aug 28, 2016