Director David Siev returned to his small hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan, to capture his family’s experience and struggle to keep their restaurant afloat during the pandemic. The younger Sievs’ courageous participation in a BLM protest is a beautifully shot and edited verité tour de force that became the film’s terrifying centerpiece. Ironically, it draws even more unwelcome attention from Michigan white supremacists when Siev posts it online to raise funds for this very film. The personal is political; the politics are personal; Bad Axe is both. This family’s fraught origin informs the next generation’s unshakeable conviction about what it means to be American.
- David Siev