Back to All Events

Hyperreal film club presents: Rat Film

  • Museum of Human Achievement Austin, TX USA (map)

the hyperreal film club
museum of human achievement

Directed by Theo Anthony

7pm – doors
8pm – short film tba
815pm – Rat Film

Libations provided by our lovely friends at Strange Land Brewery andTexas Saké Co

Suggested $5 donation at the door
Discounted series ticket bundles available at
Screenings every Tuesday June - August


“Theo Anthony’s experimental documentary Rat Film is, indeed, about rats. Actual rats with their whip-like tails, twitchy noses, and miraculous survival skills that have tormented Baltimore city for over a century. But it’s also about rats as a metaphor. The behavior of rats, we are told, mirror humans in many ways. They “dream of a desirable future,” according to those studying their dream patterns. They respond adversely to overcrowding and neglect—turning on each other or becoming passive with depression. To extend that metaphor further, Anthony suggests that we citizens of Baltimore are essentially rats in a cage whose destinies have been orchestrated by racist policies and corrupt urban engineers.

In short, Baltimore has a rat problem because Baltimore has a poverty and segregation problem.

The film’s hero, if you will, is Harold Edmund, a charismatic and philosophical technician with the city’s rat control squad, Rat Rubout. He drives around the city helping those Baltimoreans with yards that have been invaded by the persistent pests.

“It ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore,” Edmund says. “Always been a people problem.” Some people choose to bypass the Rat Rubout team and take matters into their own hands. Anthony shows us a guy who has a veritable arsenal to combat the rats in his backyard. (After shooting a rat’s head off, he cheerfully assures us that the rat felt no pain.)

We also see an enterprising (and hilarious) pair who literally go fishing for rats—using peanut butter and turkey meat as bait and dangling their rods over alleys.

We get a glimpse at a man who keeps rats as pets. In one deadpan tableaux, three rats are perched on his shoulders, as he gently lifts a wooden recorder off the table and begins to play.

[Anthony] is a Baltimore native and his film is filled with both affection and despair for his city. I can’t say that Rat Film is a cheery experience, but it’s certainly an indelible one.”
-Baltimore Magazine

take a look:


Join us each tuesday as we explore the far reaches of weird, beautiful, and forgotten cinema from a host of diverse filmmakers. Alongside each night's film, all screenings feature some combination of short films by local filmmakers, sets by local musicians or visual artists, director visits, or other interactive installations. Check out for ticket bundle options + secret CLUB GEAR