In Review: Let Fury Have the Hour

by Joshua Searle on 23/10/2012

Let Fury Have the Hour is a social history documentary from first-time filmmaker Antonino D’Ambrosio, based on his book of the same title, focusing on creative artists and the disgruntlement of the 1980s using interviews, archival footage and contemporary art.

But before any of that stuff appears, the scene’s got to be set, so D’Ambrosio begins with some people-power voice-over and then a bunch of text saying two horrible forces brought out the worst in humanity during the 1980s. Cue Margaret Thatcher saying something so appallingly Conservative it would make many of today’s Right Honourables faint, followed by her best mate Ronald Reagan spouting something equally individualistic. It’s here that, for a worrying moment, Let Fury Have The Hour looks like it’s going to be a 96-minute, one-sided diatribe against 1980s politics.

Happily, this isn’t the case; after outlining what his talking heads perceived to be the sad state of society, D’Ambrosio’s documentary turns its focus onto the artists who were inspired to do something about their disgruntlement. The canvas here is fascinatingly broad: it’s easy to believe street art developed during this period but who knew skateboarding could be so political? The sheer range of those speaking is so intimidating – from Public Enemy’s Chuck D to prolific historian Stanislao Pugliese – you can’t help but wonder how editor Karim Lopez managed to present these moments as a cohesive whole.

And that’s just it – around two thirds of the way through, after everyone has explained their inspiration, the focus slips and D’Ambrosio seems unsure of how to conclude. People start talking about rather different things, although hearing US comedian Lewis Black admit he can’t treat Sarah Palin as a real person is amusing.

Despite taking its eye off the prize towards the end, then, Let Fury Have the Hour does extremely well to synthesize its vast range of material, giving these inspiring artists the social history they so richly deserve.

Let Fury Have the Hour premieres at Riverside Studios on Thursday 25th October at 7.30pm where attendees will also be treated to a Q & A with director Antonino D’Ambrosio (via Skype).

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Joshua has awarded Let Fury Have The Hour three Torches of Truth.



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