Parents' Guide to

Nail Bomber: Manhunt

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Docu on horrific London bombings has violence, language.

Movie NR 2021 72 minutes
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This is a disturbingly relevant story of hatred and xenophobia leading to the horrific nail bombing attacks against communities of color and the gay community in 1999 London. Nail Bomber: Manhunt is a documentary that provides the necessary context behind the bombings, breaks down the timeline of the three bombings, and shows how the bomber was arrested, brought to trial, and found guilty, despite attempts on the bomber's part to plead innocence by way of insanity. The documentary doesn't sensationalize the bombings, nor does it glorify the bomber. Instead, it takes a thorough look at how and what happened, and how a society was traumatized by these acts of terrorism, and the aftermath of these bombings, told by the survivors themselves.

It's a story as much about idealism as it is about the kinds of people who are attracted to the hateful rhetoric of extremist politicians. "Arthur," a man who went undercover for decades to infiltrate and expose the nefarious activities of right-wing terrorist groups, put his life on the line, time and time again, and played an integral part in the capture of the nail bomber. Rather than tearing the society apart and causing a race war as the bomber had hoped, people of all backgrounds united against this kind of hatred. Survivors talk of how there are so many more good and kind people than hate-filled, evil people; that's the ultimate takeaway to this documentary, and why it's worth watching.

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