Film Reviews

Review: ‘Credit for Murder’

Hot Docs 2016

Courtesy of Hot Docs


Credit for Murder
(Israel, 87 min.)
Dir. Vladi Antonevicz
Programme: Command + Control (North American Premiere)

A crime doc loaded with twists, Vladi Antonevicz’s mordantly ironic Credit for Murder revolves around a horrific killing in a Russian forest. Ostensibly, white-supremacist neo-Nazis beheaded a young Muslim man and shot an Isis-style video of the atrocity. The footage went viral, and the victim’s father identified him. But it was a year before the police stopped insisting the clip was just another fake and investigated the crime.

The movie works like a fiction procedural, with the director, an Israeli Jew, as investigator. Coolly playing a dangerous game, he works his way into neo-Nazi groups and unravels a web of clues.

Ultra moody, poetic, even Tarkovskian, the doc is filled with black humour. In voiceover, Antonevicz refers to a hate videomaker’s “cinematic career” and his “masterpiece.” Absurdly, he poses as an “inspector from the Ku Klux Klan.” Antonevicz seems inspired by Sacha Baron Cohen and the 2009 doc, The Red Chapel. In a key scene, white supremacists shoot at a pig’s head and self-critique their heil Hitler salutes.

There’s nothing funny about the doc’s suspicion that the police and the KGB surreptitiously back the neo-Nazi clowns, using their movement and high-profile leaders as a control mechanism in Putin’s Russia.

Credit for Murder screens:
-Saturday, May 7 at the Revue at 8:45 PM

Please visit the POV Hot Docs hub for more coverage on this year’s festival.

Hot Docs runs April 28 – May 8. Visit www.hotdocs.ca for more information.

Maurie Alioff writes about movies for publications off- and on-line, and is a screenwriter currently collaborating on a documentary featuring Bob Marley’s granddaughter while researching other Jamaica-related projects, including a magical-realist crime story drawing on stories he hears on the island. He has written for radio, journals and TV, taught screenwriting and been a contributing editor to various magazines.

View all articles by Maurie Alioff »