The minimal media presence of writer/director Chris Morris is almost at odds with his large body of work which has become synonymous with modern satire, The Day Today, the notorious Brass Eye and his 2010 debut feature film Four Lions which he has now followed up with The Day Shall Come, again performing a merciless vivisection of terrorism and the politics which surrounds and drives it.
The hard border of social and economic divide, on Miami beach the rich party while only blocks away the Star of Six Community Farm and Mission run by Moses Al Shabaz (Marchánt Davis) and his family face eviction; a self-proclaimed prophet whose purpose was revealed when God spoke to him through a duck, he awaits the day of the great inversion when the injustice of the white European will be overthrown.
Shunning the use of guns in favour of swords and crossbows (“white men gave guns so black men could kill each other”), the FBI are peripherally aware of the Star of Six but they are not considered an imminent threat until a sting operation elsewhere in the city falls through and careers are threatened by the fallout.
Urgently needing a high-profile success, Special Agent Kendray Glack (Mr. Right‘s Anna Kendrick) and her supervisor Andy Mudd (The Town That Dreaded Sundown‘s Denis O’Hare) see the naive Al Shabaz as an easy mark; if they can persuade him to escalate his operations they can arrest him for terrorist activity, and desperate for cash to save the farm he is likely to agree.
Shabaz off his medication and his wife Venus (Orange Is the New Black‘s Danielle Brooks) out of patience, the FBI are out of options and their blackmailed middleman Reza (What We Do in the Shadows‘ Kayvan Novak) is out of chances, given no option but to recruit the four-man army of the Star of Six by any means necessary or face jail himself.
Co-written with In the Loop‘s Jesse Armstrong, The Day Shall Come is billed as being “inspired by a hundred true stories,” America’s war on terror meaning that the FBI is now the largest recruiter of terrorists in the United States, a snake chasing its own tail in order to fulfill quotas and keep prisons packed and profits high.
Black suspects “no longer cool,” the brown tone of Al Shabaz and his family suits the preferred profile, his profound belief that dinosaurs will come to his aid notwithstanding, and balanced between ridicule and outrage and on the verge of falling off a cliff it is inevitable that the events will escalate to nuclear with Glack and Mudd ready to press the button.
The American justice system presented as a farce where the colour of a person’s skin determines their likelihood of guilt, The Day Shall Come is both comedy and a sympathetic tragedy in that the victims are the innocents whose only crime is to be poor and desperate, their attempts to do the right thing thwarted by those who exploit them as opportunities for personal advancement in what they see as a game.
The Day Shall Come is on general release from October 11th