Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2020 by Marshall Shaffer
Class conflict in cinema is nothing new. Though after Bong Joon-ho’s Best Picture-winning Parasite became a global phenomenon, there’s perhaps never been a more receptive audience for films depicting a breakdown of unsustainable social contracts. (The ever-growing chasm of worldwide economic inequality unfortunately does not hurt, either.)
Enter Mexican writer and director Michel Franco with New Order, a taut 88-minute dystopian drama about a country thrown into disarray amidst societal upheaval. Where Franco might lack Bong’s knack for clever plotting, he compensates with sharper knives in his class commentary. New Order presents a ruthlessly barbaric vision of social breakdown with melt-your-face-off intensity, one made all the more potent and difficult to shake given Franco’s stark realism about where platitudes like “eat the rich” would inevitably lead.