Series 7

Director: Daniel Minahan


Dawn, seven months pregnant and "America's longest-reigning contender," enters a liquor store and blows a guy away with a pistol shot to the back. As he lies dying on the linoleum floor, she empties her gun into him. Music under slick computer graphics: Voiceover: "Five lives stand between her and freedom." Daniel Minahan's high-octane parody of reality-based TV shows kicks into gear. The rules of the show are simple—five contenders are randomly selected, given loaded guns, and wired for television broadcast. The last one alive wins.

Minahan pays near-perfect attention to the details of this TV show genre. Satire that borders at times on spoof, Series 7 is, in the end, a searing indictment on media infatuation. As the violent action unfolds, guns are demystified, life is cheapened, and each contender's story becomes a hotbed for social comment and comic observance. A 55-year-old nurse has a penchant for the hypodermic, an 18-year-old teen possesses an itchy trigger finger, and Dawn, played by Brooke Smith, is hilarious and harrowing as the gun-toting "almost" mama.

Whether you believe reality TV could ever manifest itself to this extreme or not, the true genius in Series 7 lies in its cumulative effect. By pushing us to the next threshold, it shows us clearly where we are today, and it ain't pretty.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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