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Review: 'Blue Caprice'

October 3, 2013 4:02 p.m.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "Blue Caprice."

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

ANCHOR INTRO: The Beltway Sniper attacks that terrorized Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia in October of 2002 provide the basis for the new movie “Blue Caprice.” KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando has this review.

CLIP Oh my god, a man has been killed in front of me.

The movie “Blue Caprice” opens with 9-1-1 calls and news footage of the Beltway Sniper attacks. The randomness and senselessness of the killings created a media frenzy as well as a pervasive sense of fear and chaos in the Capital Beltway area. But the film spends little time depicting the murders. Instead it looks at what led to the violence. The first clue comes when John explains life to Lee, an abandoned boy he takes under his wing and eventually turns into a killer.

CLIP When I was your age I used to play a game called life is not fair. You know why I called it that? Because life is not fair, it sucks, but you gotta play.

John is someone who is dangerously discontent. He feels he’s been wronged by his estranged wife who has taken his kids away from him, by neighbors who testified against him, and by a government that takes no notice of him. He has little hope for the future, which means he has nothing to lose. That’s a volatile combination that prompts his plan of action.

CLIP A few bodies, well maybe more than a few bodies, maybe five or six a day for 30 days.

“Blue Caprice” is a chilling, elegant, and restrained contemplation of what can so deaden someone’s sense of humanity that they can become a serial killer.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.