My earnest sympathies to Movie City Indie‘s Ray Pride after getting beaten up by right-wing thugs during the Thessaloniki Doc Festival last month. His 4.29 posting says he suffered no organ damage or broken bones, and is on the mend — good to hear. And thank fortune for medical insurance.
But who sits on a story like this for over a month?
If you’re a movie blogger/columnist you’re filing as it happens — screenings, festivals, musings, reviews, etc. But when something like this occurs — an awful traumatic thing that could have been life-threatening — isn’t that journalistic gold? Meaning that you’d want to write about it as soon as possible? Or certainly as fast as you’d file a review of a hot new film? Horrible as it surely is, getting beaten up is a chance to step out of the rarified cineaste realm and grapple with something “real.”
I just can’t help wondering how someone of Pride’s stature, expertise and intelligence could say to himself the next day, “That was terrible but you know what? I’d rather not write about it. Or at least, I need to few weeks to think it over.”
If I’d been kicked and punched by Greek thugs you can be sure I’d have an account up a few hours later, or certainly by the next day. (Unless my hands were broken.) I would write the story and then find a way to send it out from the hospital. The day I was back on the street I would describe my attackers and explore to what degree the police had investigated and were prosecuting. And I’d want to read English translations of whatever press coverage came from this. And I’d look around for eyewitnesses and find out if others had been beaten by the same gang.
Pride’s photos of his bloody jacket, windbreakers and press pass are excellent, but I want to see photos of where it all happened.
The Thessaloniki Film Festival ran from March 13th to 22nd, and Pride’s misfortune happened on “a little more than a month ago,” he writes. That would be Sunday, 3.22, or the festival’s closing night. Pride’s attackers, he suggests, probably weren’t that much different from the brutes who took part in Yves Montand‘s murder in Costa-Gavras‘s Z (1969).