SF Docfest 2011 – Scrapper Review and Trailer

Stephan Wassmann‘s Scrapper is a visually sparse delight on the amount of trash left behind by the US Air Force, and the people who boldly and stupidly collect it. An exposé on white trash if you will.

The film takes place in California’s Southeast desert range near the Mexico border where the Chocolate Mountain bombing range lies.  This is where the United States Air Force tests explosives on a daily basis.  It’s also home to scavengers Randy, Downey, Ronnie, and J.R.  These men have a job that is both illegal and dangerous.  They are scrappers.  Their job is to collect and dismantle as much explosive waste as they possibly can in order to later sell it to the scrapyard.  Most of these men are almost always high on meth when entering the “kill zone” to collect their treasures. I guess you would have to be either high or naturally mentally unstable in order to walk into an area scattered with “boom booms”, which are covered in dirt and could easily go off with one misstep.

In a lot of ways Scrapper has that same apocalyptic dread felt in Mad Max with the suspense and danger that went with The Hurt Locker. Within every frame is a desolate and gritty dirt-filled landscape, scattered with remnants of aluminum scrap. These visuals, combined with the sounds of slide guitar, harmonica, and Jew’s harp conjured up that feeling of watching a dangerous and moody western where anything can happen.

The western esthetics become even more heightened when the portrayal of the scrappers as outlaw renegades come into play. These dangerous and territorial opportunistic crooks made watching this film a highly enjoyable one.

Showtimes for Scrapper:

Friday, October 14th – 7:15pm (Roxie Theater)

Monday, October 17th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theater)

Wednesday, October 19th – 2:45pm (Shattuck Cinema – Berkeley)

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Categories: Reviews

One Comment on “SF Docfest 2011 – Scrapper Review and Trailer”

  1. October 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Many thanks for the great review, Adam!

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