Berlin (dpa) – You really don’t have to advertise for this film. When “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” appeared in 2017, it was a huge success.
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The thriller about a mother’s search for justice for her murdered daughter received seven Oscar nominations. In the end, the crew took two home – one went to lead actress Frances McDormand as best actress.
But when the film arrives on Monday at 8:15 p.m., the film surprises even beyond its quality: long before the incidents of the brutal killing of African American George Floyd during a police operation, the drama by director Martin McDonagh attacks racism at the american police on.
The linchpin of the film is the police’s failure to solve the murder of Mildred’s daughter. The girl was raped, murdered and burned in the fictional town of Ebbing. When the police are still in the dark months later, Mother Mildred (McDormand) comes up with a simple and effective idea. She rents three old, almost dilapidated billboards just outside of Ebbing and has them written: “Raped While Dying”, “And Still No Arrests?”, “How come, Chief Willoughby?” – about: “Still raped to death”, “And still no arrest”, “How can that be, Commissioner Willoughby?”
Over the next two hours, the audience will see how things get completely out of hand in the small town from this point on. You follow this mildred, who would have so many reasons to be a victim and give up. Her daughter, with whom she fought terribly at her last meeting: cruelly killed. Her violent husband: blown after the crime with his simple-minded young lover. The police, who seem to make no effort at all in the case of their daughter, instead persecute blacks for trifles and flatter Mildred even after putting up the billboards and then threatening them.
These small town policemen in general. It’s an open secret that local police have a racism problem – especially the simpleton officer Jason Dixon (played by Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). Even the local chief of police (played by Woody Harrelson) does not deny the racism problem. “If you kicked out all the cops who were beginning to have racist tendencies, you’d only have three cops – and they’d all be gay haters,” he says in the film. Given the death of George Floyd and the subsequent discussion about racism in the police force, the viewer realizes once again how old this discussion is in the United States.
Back to Mildred: Instead of breaking with the deep blows, in this situation in which she has nothing to lose, she becomes more stubborn and indomitable. It is no longer prepared to silently accept the existing balance of power. And despite all the fighting, that’s always pretty funny. The humor in the film is a bit like its main character: pretty bitter, often politically incorrect and sometimes completely wrong. But in the end it is often quite great in its drastic nature.
Incidentally, the “Three Billboards” have long since been set up not only in film, but also in reality. For example, after a massacre at a high school near Miami in the USA, three blackboards with 17 dead appeared in front of the US Senator Marco Rubio’s office in Miami. “Slaughtered at school”, “And still no weapons control laws”, “How come Marco Rubio?” Was written on it. But in reality everyone reacted more prudently than in fictional Ebbing, Missouri.