Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen films in ”The Purge” franchise.
“The Purge” film envisions a terrifying future United States where the despotic New Founding Fathers of America legalize all violent crime for one night each year. They claim the country needs catharsis and a deterrent to more regular crime, but the movies reveal The Purge’s true purpose: an occasion for the powerful to employ White supremacist paramilitas to kill impoverished people en masse.
The films also show the unyielding struggle of a Black-led opposition group to end this racist and classist smokescreen. The new entry in the series, “The First Purge,” goes back in time to the origin of the purge and the resistance.
The movie stars Lex Scott Davis (“Training Day”) and Y’lan Noel (“Insecure”) as Nya and Dmitri, two former romantic partners who must survive as purgers attack their predominantly Black neighborhood. The trailer shows Naya leading a demonstration against the state-ordained carnage, while Dmitri rallies associates into armed defense.
Director Gerard McMurray (“Burning Sands”), the first Black filmmaker to helm a “Purge” flick, told USA Today that “The First Purge” intentionally draws on the political and economic realities of racism against communities of color. “The genre of horror lets us wrestle with the evils of our real world,” he says. “People come in with all kinds of scams and ideas of what they want to do to your community or how they see your community. Our communities are being gentrified now and we’re seeing a lot of change, so that rang true for me.”
See everything unfold when “The First Purge” hits theaters tomorrow (July 4).