Trailer narration for The Oath: “How did this reasonable, mild-mannered husband and wife end up like this? One word: family.”
The trailer lies. In fact, the one-word answer is “Trump”. A corresponding five-word answer is “creeping Nazi Germany-like fascism.” Coupled with a pair of brothers with diametrically opposed views on a recently-requested government loyalty oath, which is only a step or two removed from reality.
One brother (played by director-producer-writer Ike Barinholz) is quite sensibly appalled; the other (or “bad”) brother supports the thinking behind the oath. Mix, combust, fireworks, FBI guys, chaos.
The Oath, which looks and feels a little raggedy, will premiere on 9.25 at the Los Angeles Film Festival. I don’t know how good Barinholz’s film is, but the fact that a raucous family comedy has a fascistic premise at all is obviously a portrait of contemporary white American culture, at least to some extent.