A Billboard Triad
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI — 2017
A very sad and sinister story in a small town in Missouri, bleak indeed. The drama of a mother whose daughter was raped while dying and then carbonized, burnt down to ashes or a pile of incinerated bones. The police in that Midwest place is unable to find the culprit since his DNA does not correspond to anything they have in any listing you can imagine. The culprit has never been tested for any crime by any police force or for health problems in any hospital or clinic.
After a year the mother decides to attack the police and put their nose in their own mess with three blood-red billboards wondering what the local chief of police is doing. That starts a whole series of events in a city where, as the chief of police under severe pancreatic cancer says before dying, the police is a bunch of racist cops except three and yet two of these are gay. They actually do not really care and their main method to keep peace in the valley, or the town, is to intimidate everyone into silence and obedience, in one word, humility, discretion, submission to the rule of keeping hushed up.
But the whole city then explodes because of the billboards, then the death of the chief of police. His substitute thinks he has to intimidate everyone around the mother and her ex-husband thinks it is better to burn the three billboards down. To no avail, even when the substitute Dixon throws out of his office window the real estate agent who owns the billboards and sold their use to the mother. And upon such events, a black chief of police is sent from the capital city to take over the police station. A black man, mind you.
That will not stop the mother, Mildred by the way, who will put the billboards and the posters back up, with the complicity of some black people, and she will also throw four or five Molotov cocktails at the police station burning it not completely down to the ground but badly enough to require the Fire Department to send some trucks and firefighters.
And yet a false trail will appear and Dixon and Mildred will decide to clean up that chap because he is a rapist for sure, and will have to drive to Idaho, just one thousand miles or so, to clean up the plate. But the real culprit will still be running in the community of Ebbing, unknown of anyone, or maybe, probably, for sure, known to many people who consider that Mildred deserves her sorrow and pain because she is a hard lady with many people.
That’s what life is in the Midwest in the USA. Racism, homophobia, male chauvinism and all type of violence against anyone who is weak enough to be assaulted. And the police count the corpses and let the river run under the bridge.
Sad indeed, even if it is so gross at times that it becomes some kind of a thrilling farce, a police vaudeville, a crime comic melodrama. To enjoy one night, but be sure you are wrong if you think those are Trump supporters. They are just redneck supremacists.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU