It is the summer of 2017. A tidal wave of police killings has hit the African-American community. A group of Black Panthers seeks justice. But racism and violence are engrained in the cogs of white justice. Roberto Minervini creates a highly charged counter shot to his previous film Louisiana (The Other Side). Shot in highly contrasted black and white, the film is as lyrical as it is political. The filmmaker creates a chilling portrait of race relationships in Donald Trump’s United States. Rampant and murderous racism grows while people on the street try to survive amongst enormous challenges and violence. Roberto Minervini himself has been subject to police violence while shooting the film. His articulate way of framing and gaining access to people allows him to obtain a degree of intimacy that almost blurs the boundaries between fiction and documentary. What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? is further proof of Minervini’s status as one of the most relevant and challenging filmmakers working in non fiction film today.
Giona A. Nazzaro