In honor of Independence Day, on July 3, the Psychotronic Film Society’s long-running weekly series of underappreciated or downright obscure feature films from around the world continues at the Sentient Bean Coffeehouse on Forsyth Park with a one-time-only showing of famed fashion photographer William Klein’s harsh, little-known slap at U.S. imperialism, “Mr. Freedom.”
This 1968 satire was made by Klein after he had left America for France, and it’s a spot-on and withering attack on this country’s puffed-up, bullying attitude towards the rest of the world. The plot details an all-American, ultra-conservative superhero named “Mr. Freedom” who reacts in a knee-jerk fashion to any perceived threat to democracy. He basically beats, robs, kills and sexually assaults anyone who even appears to disagree with his own particular idea of what constitutes American ideals. Specifically, the French, who he believes are not sufficiently subservient to the USA. Sound familiar?
Yes, many film-literate folks have recently noticed that just over 50 years since this film was released to a befuddled viewing audience and vanished with barely a trace, it very astutely predicted a great deal about the mood and tone of today’s world politics. Of course, that’s because it’s an absurd satire and our real life situation has merely gotten more and more ridiculous until we have now caught up with this fantasy. Lucky us, huh?
Anyone who feels dissatisfied and terrified by the state of current political affairs is encouraged to come get a gander on what one prescient filmmaker imagined we’d ultimately become, and then make of that what you will. The PFS screens the full, uncut version of this rarely seen film, in spoken English. 8 p.m. showtime, with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the show and a full vegetarian and fair-trade menu available.