Independent Lens: Rat Film
All series episodes
About This Episode
“There ain’t ever been a rat problem in Baltimore. It’s a people problem.”
In his critically-acclaimed directorial debut, Theo Anthony uses the rat to burrow into the dark, complicated history of Baltimore. A unique blend of history, science and sci-fi, poetry and portraiture, Rat Film explores how racial segregation, discriminatory lending practices known as “redlining,” and environmental racism built the Baltimore that exists today.
What begins as an examination of our interactions with rats – portraits of rat-afflicted citizens, rats as test subjects in labs, the development of rat poison – becomes a deeper exploration of Baltimore. Anthony investigates the history of the city, and the systemic racism that established the low-income and predominantly black neighborhoods that are still plagued by rats today.