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Pure Race

Pure RaceNot all nightmares disappear when
  you open your eyes — some of them
  just keep on happening, and in Pure
there is no escaping the hatred,
  racism and the violence...

GENTLE, SHY TONY ANDERSON (superb acting from Fred Hunting) is hit by a car while out on his bicycle and when the black man who is driving gets out to check if he is okay, Tony rants at him defensively, even though he knows he was in the wrong.

The man turns out to be amiable tough-guy Carl Fields (the brilliant Gregory C Haynes), whom Tony has never met but has offered to car-share for a trip home from college — and at first the situation between the two of them is slightly awkward with Tony feeling uncomfortable over his over-the-top behaviour.

At a diner, Carl is chatting to waitress Jeanette (Shauna Thompson) and manages to get her telephone number before she is called back by a nasty piece of work named Chris (Kevin Bouwman) who shouts abuse at Carl, calling him "nigger".

Carl loses his temper and punches him to the ground, admitting later to Tony that "it hurt today when that punk called me a nigger" and he doesn't feel anyone but a black person could appreciate how much racial discrimination they have to put up with. Carl is an only child from a one-parent family while Tony is white and has obviously enjoyed a more secure and privileged upbringing as one of a large, close-knit family.

As their friendship develops, Tony regrets his own feelings of distrust towards Carl because of the colour of his skin. They soon fall into an easy friendship, discovering a mutual appreciation of Star Trek. Soon, however, their mundane journey is interrupted by a flat tyre that pulls them up short in the middle of nowhere — only to discover that the car's jack is missing.

The two walk some way to the nearest house and Carl befriends a dog, of which Tony is clearly nervous. A young woman, Kim Grey (Katherine Willis), opens the door to Tony and is surprised when he tells her his friend is making a fuss of the dog — apparently her dog doesn't usually like strangers.

Kim makes Tony welcome, but when Carl comes in she is clearly flustered. And when she nervously disappears to get them a jack, the two boys make their first — and very big — mistake. They go out into the yard and open the barn door — only to find they have accidentally stumbled upon a meeting of the particularly nasty local fanatical neo-Nazi militia calling themselves the Aryan Freedom Fighters. And there is something horrific that they both wish they hadn't seen…

Tony and Carl have to pit their wits against their captors, relying upon each other for support, as well as setting aside any remaining doubts about each other in order to unite to survive their ordeal.

What a terrific film, covering a controversial — and potentially explosive — subject without using any of the seemingly current trend for explicit violence. Pure Race introduces shock and tension without resorting to unnecessary and sadistic blood and gore. At the same time, you never lose sight of what is happening. Full marks to the multi-talented Director, Rocco DeVilliers.

Highlights of the film include a particularly clever chase sequence with Tony on a bicycle and the pursuing Drake (played with relish by J Todd Adams), obsessively intent on killing or recapturing him; and gun-toting men on horseback — with echoes of the Wild West — hunting down Carl and Tony on foot as they try to dodge a hail of bullets through wildly beautiful country — a terrain where the hunters hold all the advantages.

The argument Kim has with her father James (Marvin Payne) is interesting as she explains about Carl, saying how she "met one of them tonight — the dog liked him. He's just like me; he's just like you". Carl is later told: "just breathing makes you guilty" as he and Tony are treated like criminals by the fanatics and facing a sham trial that could result in their deaths.

Inspired by the ongoing racial tensions and underground militia groups that continue to capture the world's headlines, Rocco DeVilliers delivers an award-winning, action-packed rollercoaster ride that will have you on the very edge of your seat from start to finish.

At the age of 21, Rocco DeVilliers (Flyboys) set out to make his first feature film on an unbelievably low budget of just $15,000, using his friends as actors and crew and using his own multi-directional skills.

Pure Race also features Derek White, Dave Miller and Milo Merrill. It is written by star Fred Hunting and Rocco DeVilliers and the fine music is composed and performed by Lisle Moore. Rocco DeVilliers also Directs the film, is the Sound Supervisor and is responsible for co-ordinating the splendid, nail-biting stunts.

Rocco DeVilliers' highly controversial and poignant Pure Race is released on DVD for the first time in the UK on 22 September (2008) by Eureka Entertainment. Catalogue Number: EKA40284 | Barcode: 5060000402841 | RRP: £12.99 | Certificate: 18 | Running Time: 115 minutes | Format: colour/4:3. Special Features: Director and Actor Commentary | Deleted Scenes | Theatrical Trailer.

"What a terrific film, covering a controversial — and potentially explosive — subject without using any of the apparent current trend for explicit violence. Pure Race introduces shock and tension without resorting to unnecessary and sadistic blood and gore… Full marks to the multi-talented Rocco DeVilliers" — MotorBar