‘The Forever Purge’ Envisions the Wages of Racist Sin


On the surface, the “Purge” movies are pretty ridiculous.

The five-film franchise that began with 2013’s “The Purge” takes place in a near-future America, which allows an annual 12-hour period in which all crimes are legal. According to the conservative New Founding Fathers party, the Purge helped the country recover from near-economic ruin by allowing Americans to release their negative emotions. However, the film quickly reveals this to be a mere rhetorical device, camouflaging the way the Purge lets rich (mostly White) Americans decimate poor (mostly non-White) populations.

For the first three movies, that premise served up more horror-action than any political commentary. But the franchise found its voice with 2018’s “The First Purge.” Released at the height of Trump-inspired racism, “The First Purge” is a blast of righteous anger, in which Black communities fight back against a government that wants to blame them for their own destruction.


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