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“This is what the right needs to do: conquer show-power.” That was one of my reflections after watching Run Hide Fight, the film directed by Kyle Rankin and distributed by The Daily Wire, the platform founded by Ben Shapiro. I finished the film with a good taste in my mouth as it seems to be the beginning of a wave of films removed from the progressive Hollywood consensus Run Hide Fight is like the dad who will reach his full potential through the lessons he will teach his children—that is, movies to come.
This film tells the story of a school shooting led by four hooligans who fall into the category of renegades, “unbridled” would be the more typical word, and who, in revenge for the mistreatment by a teacher against the leader of the young criminals, Tristan Voy, decide to execute a school shooting. But at the same time, Run Hide Fight shows us a first tragedy embodied in the death of Zoe Hull’s mother, the protagonist.
Run Hide Fight and the two Americas
The story is told as a two-sided breaking point; two reactions to the same existential tension produced by abandonment. On the one hand, Zoe Hull leads her life abstracted from reality by tying her conscience to a memory of her mother that, like everything that goes away in life, begins to fade. Meanwhile, Tristan Voy, a young man who was mistreated by one of the school counselors, and who, faced with the failures that his surroundings presented to him, abandoned all sanity and decided to burn it all down.
The parallels with modern America are inevitable. The country appears to have suffered a great deal of neglect by the political elites and by its own past, certainly brighter than it is now. To heighten the impact of this problem, the film embodies them in a young cast who, in and out of the film, will make of the country what they make of their own future.
Thus, we see Zoe and Tristan sharing the same existential question that in the chaos of the attack takes them back to what they have learned; Zoe returns to the values her family instilled in her – following the lesson of Machiavelli and nations in crisis that must return to their origins – and Tristan, who in many ways is reminiscent of the Russian Nihilists who spiced the Bolshevik revolution a few decades earlier, lashes out at everything he knows.
Lockdowns, lock-outs, and other “touchy” subjects
Run Hide Fight seeks to reflect on several of the nation’s problems. Among those, the most important is the lockdown of the nation’s schools. When the shooting starts in the lunchroom, Tristan and his group cut the power and the rest of the school thinks it’s a glitch. Forcing them to follow the “manual” for this situation, all the classrooms go into lockdown with teachers and students, and thus, each classroom is isolated from reality and from each other. In the world this is happening since last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
During the pandemic, people start isolating themselves, leading to a breakup in the social fabric, thus becoming unaware of the disaster that the powerful were overseeing. Many cried out for help as they saw imminent bankruptcy, while the powerful destroyed institutions. The lockdowns provoked lockouts in the people and the powerful seized the opportunity. As in the movie, chaos spread around the world as everyone followed the World Health Organization’s “manual” to the letter.
Run Hide Fight makes clear reference to the pandemic and sends a withering anti-lockdown message that becomes increasingly obvious as the rescue begins to take effect. Yet it also sends a message about the inability of the authorities to resolve a situation – and the failures of the system.
Throughout the film, the authorities are depicted as clumsy and virtually useless. The police have little to do with the solution, along with the teachers. The teachers didn’t bother to find out if something else might be going on. They obeyed, they stayed in the classrooms. In fact, at one point they refused to hear about the news of the attack.
More Red Dawn than Die Hard
From a critical standpoint, it should be noted that Hollywood critics hate the film, which likely means that director Kyle Rankin did a very good job. Second, they constantly compare Run Hide Fight to Bruce Willis’ Die Hard. I don’t deny that there are similarities, but Run Hide Fight has the same mythic potency that Red Dawn might have had at the time-remember that Red Dawn is about a uchronia of a Soviet invasion of the U.S. during a third world war.
In many ways, Run Hide Fight has more of a Red Dawn flavor. The Wolverines in Red Dawn decide to form themselves into an anti-Soviet guerrilla force to take their country back while Zoe builds up her courage not to retake her school, but to neutralize the young terrorists, whom she eliminates one by one.
The family factor in both installments (including in the Red Dawn remake) weighs heavily and sets the tone for the protagonists throughout the story. Zoe’s father, a war veteran, has a key moment that helps in the rescue his daughter was performing.
In both cases they set out to recapture what is precious to the protagonists: for Zoe her life and that of her companions; for the Wolverines, America.
The counter attack
In the film, the possibility of escaping the situation is presented, but it was too late to flee. The time had come to defend oneself. And in the defense, Zoe Hull regained her consciousness. “To be is to defend oneself” wrote Maeztu and in Run Hide Fight this point is clearly made. The message of the film is one where America seeps through in every sense, in the constant unease in the face of barbarism and chaos, and seeks to defeat them.
Run Hide Fight is a good film overall, but it is a very good one for those who are tired of the system and how the establishment ignores it while the hordes destroyed their country last year. It shows the importance of the family, how it is the one that will accompany you even in the hardest moments; it shows the failures of a system that accentuated the tearing of the social fabric and the dangers of it. It shows that you can win, but only if you have what Yeats pointed out in his poem The Second Coming: conviction.
As the late Andrew Breitbart famously remarked, “politics is downstream from culture.” Run Hide Fight is therefore an excellent introduction of a more conservative worldview to mainstream audiences who are accustomed to the progressive agenda. In the industry show-business, now is the time to fight.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017