Richard Davis infamously pulled himself nearly 200 times to test the strength of the vest, as shown in the Sundance documentary.
The real American dream? A former Marine turned bankrupt pizzeria owner invents the modern body armor and to prove its functionality, he shoots himself nearly 200 times.
The Sundance documentary “2nd Chance” is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (“The White Tiger,” “Chop Shop”) and traces the rise and fall of Richard Davis, the creator of the body armor. A police and military hero until tragedy knocks him down, Davis delivers an American story of guns, violence, lies and self-deception, the official synopsis reads. . Beginning in the 1970s, Davis was seen as an eccentric revolutionary whose decades-long career in weaponry culminated in self-recorded videos (“Second Chance vs. Magnum Force” was already featured on “Best of the Worst” by RedLetterMedia) and the pursuit of larger-than-life celebrities, especially among the police.
“When I first heard about it, I thought it would be a typical rise and fall story that had a moral,” writer-director Bahrani told IndieWire earlier this year. “In a way like Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons’, I thought that was the direction the documentary was going to go. But when I went to film with Richard in Michigan, that story started to evolve and to take a different form.
Bahrani continued of the larger-than-life Davis, “I really don’t know which of these deceptions he currently believes in, or which he believes in for our presentation together. I am not sure. There were some areas where I hoped Richard would reveal himself in a more emotional way. I don’t think it was that he didn’t want to, I just think his lead character doesn’t work that way. So it was really about the people around him who would help us understand Richard and all that he created.
David Ehrlich of IndieWire wrote in his review of the documentary: “For Bahrani, Davis is a caricature of false altruism that honors the American experience: ‘What makes one man risk his own life to save thousands of people, to put hundreds of thousands of lives in danger? »
Bahrani writes, directs and produces the feature, with Daniel Turcan and Johnny Galvin of Vespucci, and Charles Dorfman and Jacob Grodnik also serving as producers. The film is produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (“The Act of Killing”, “The Look of Silence”), as well as Myles Estey, Bahareh Azimi and Marlon Vogelgesang. Fifth Season and Samuel Marshall Films are producing and financing the film.
“2nd Chance” debuts at the Village East by Angelika and Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan in New York, and at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown and AMC Burbank 16 in Los Angeles on December 2. “2nd Chance” hits theaters on December 2 in Los Angeles and New York, with a wider release on December 9. It will premiere on Showtime in the spring of 2023.
Check out the trailer below.