Better This World

Better This World

Directed by: Kelly Duane & Katie Galloway
93 minutes

New England Premiere

In September 2008, the Republican National Convention met in St. Paul, MN. While John McCain was heralded inside the convention hall, thousands of protesters thronged the streets outside, chanting antiwar slogans and clashing with police. By the end of the four-day convention, two young men from Midland, TX—Bradley Crowder and David McKay—had been arrested and charged with illegal possession of Molotov cocktails. The arrests were reported as a clear success story for federal and local law enforcement: the culmination of years of preparation for the convention, a validation of the significant funds the FBI had committed to antiterrorism efforts, and the termination of a potentially deadly terrorist conspiracy before anyone was harmed.

As BETTER THIS WORLD clearly shows, the truth is not so simple. Filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega have constructed this film with a sure-handed craftsmanship that maintains journalistic clarity while building a palpable narrative tension around the ambiguity of their subjects. It seems wrong, somehow, to call a thoughtful work of nonfiction about a troubling subject “entertaining,” but BETTER THIS WORLD is entertaining. It is a story about true events, but it is also, at its root, a story about the things that make any drama compelling: loyalty and betrayal, temptation and conscience, the struggle to reconcile idealism with pragmatism, and an individual’s attempt to weigh the lesser of two evils. It is a film that will stay with you long after you finish watching it.

—Kyle Parrish