Just two weeks after the horrific events at the University of California in Santa Barbara, releasing a film about a school shooting has the potential to be highly controversial. Shot in mockumentary style with handheld footage, The Dirties captures two friends, Matt and Oliver, who respond to constant bullying by making their own cop movie in which they murder all the ‘bad guys’ in their school. Fiction slides all too easily into reality as the fantasy becomes real.
Director Matt Johnson defends the decision to release the film in the wake of the recent mass shooting. “This film is trying to get at solutions to this problem,” he says. “It makes sense to release it when it’s in the public consciousness, when people want to talk about this. This issue is not going to become less relevant. I think the normalisation of this type of violence in the United States is not going anywhere until we start looking at the problem differently. I think this film should be a part of that discussion.”
The Dirties is in UK cinemas from Friday, June 6th.