‘No Accidents’ Review: Putting White Supremacists on Trial | ET REALITY


Kristi Jacobson’s legal documentary “No Accident” begins with footage from the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia: white supremacists marching with tiki torches and shouting insults like “Jews will not replace us.” The grotesque reunion is still disturbing and infuriating to watch, but immersing ourselves in the proceedings has a way of exposing the ugly facts right from the start.

Some participants in the two-day rally faced criminal charges, but Jacobson documents the steps in a civil case filed in October in an attempt to hold the rally’s leaders accountable for conspiring to commit violence. Following the litigation led by attorneys Roberta Kaplan and Karen Dunn, Jacobson’s civil rights proceeding delves into both the legal work and the emotional strain involved in a case like this.

Kaplan and Dunn’s team relies on damning excerpts from Discord, the social media site used by protest organizers, and evasive and insulting statements from conspirators such as Richard Spencer and Christopher Cantwell, who represented themselves in court. . Jacobson shows the cost of some of the lawsuit’s nine plaintiffs, who remember the demonstration and peaceful counter-protests on August 12, when James Fields Jr. murdered Heather Heyer and injured dozens of people by driving his car into a crowd. of protesters.

The film, which feels constrained by the trial’s pandemic-related restrictions, maintains a civil tone throughout. But it is difficult to remain calm in the face of the spectacle of white nationalists preaching hatred and violence one moment and then trying to evade responsibility and court the jury’s sympathy. Jacobson’s account does the necessary work of reframing the facts and showing that people can be held accountable for fomenting this kind of terror and harm.

Without accident
Not qualified. Duration: 1 hour 37 minutes. Watch on HBO platforms.

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