From the conversational buzz up and down the Hot Docs lineups and panels, Better This World is one of the most popular films at this year's festival.
David McKay and Bradley Crowder grew up in Midland, Texas and share their hometown with George W. Bush. At the 2008 RNC convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, the young activists were charged with domestic terrorism over possession of Molotov Cocktails. Better This World tells the story of McKay, Crowder, and their downfall at the hands of a manipulating FBI informant. It's the first film by Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Varga, and it's been gaining accolades at every festival it screens at.
The film shows just how good modern documentary can be. It's a thriller that develops with the pacing of a fiction feature, but it builds its suspense through pure non-fiction visual storytelling. Even the on screen text of courtroom transcripts is delivered with a punch. Galloway and de la Varga found a great story and deliver it damn near flawlessly. Look for Better This World on PBS's POV strand later this year, but if it's at a theatre near you in the meantime, go. Immediately.