Our Take – Radical Short Film Reviews by Cole Diment
Mark Hensley’s Uncut brings into relief a dystopian future under the recently ousted Republican government of the United States. Uncut takes as its crux the notion that in this dystopian future occurs mandatory sterilisation of all men over 35. Our protagonist, having reached this age, is determined to escape alive and intact.
The politics that Uncut brings to the fore is one that grew in prominence among left-wing circles as Donald Trump’s presidency went on. Namely this is the shift of the Republican parties politics to right-wing populism that came to resemble fascism in its aspirations. Indeed, Trump’s assertion that he would ‘Make America Great Again’ rang alarm bells for its fascistic potentiality: a characteristic of fascism, according to professor Roger Griffin, is the attempted resurrection of civilisations connected to fallen peoples. When Trump said these words he certainly wasn’t speaking to black, queer or Muslim Americans.
The primary ethical experience of Uncut is the attempt to put the shoe on the other foot. As victims we have white men who are 35+, precisely the broad target demographic of Trump’s rhetoric. This makes a change in terms of typical Hollywood’s portrayal of men; instead of strong heroes we see fleeing victims. Uncut thus attempts to produce an ethical response of empathy through this role reversal: in an era of reactionary politics and heightened individualism this may hold a key to changing the social body.